FEDERAL PROBATION VIOLATIONS AND SUPERVISED RELEASE VIOLATIONS
In federal court, there are two types of post-conviction supervision: probation, and supervised release. Probation is imposed in lieu of prison time, and carries certain reporting and other obligations. Supervised release follows prison time, and usually carries the same reporting and other obligations. Individuals who violate either their probation, or their supervised release, must appear in court, answer the violation charges, and are at risk of serving a jail or prison sentence if the supervision is revoked.
A defendant in this situation is in a unique and unfortunate position. Clients who face this battle have often invested significant emotional, mental, physical, and financial resources into rebuilding their lives after their conviction or prison sentence. Often, they face onerous hardships, such as transportation problems and unemployment, a boss who does not understand their probation obligations, juggling between child care and other obligations, and finally, an ongoing struggle with substance abuse and relapse. These clients deserve someone who understands and can eloquently communicate to the court their plight, and highlight the positive progress they have made.
Many choices face a defendant in this position- whether to admit to some unlawful conduct, deny it, or say nothing; and whether to testify or not testify. In most cases, the perceived hopelessness of the situation can lead to giving up and the client incriminating himself or herself. This seems like the expedient course but ends up causing more emotional, financial, and physical turmoil to themselves and their family.
We are ready to intervene at any stage in this process to rescue the situation. Not only will we handily navigate between the United States Attorney Office and the Office of U.S. Probation, we are able to obtain the information needed to advise clients of the best course. Our clients are given a plan of action which, when followed, provides us with the tools to get the desired result in court. When it comes time for the violation hearing, we do not merely stand up and “plead” to the violation – we present character and factual evidence about the hardships of our clients, and why they deserve another chance. This approach has gained former clients deferrals, dismissals, and below-guidelines sentences in countless cases.