Probation Violation in Nevada
A judge has the option to choose to enforce probation as an alternative to jail time for the conviction when sentencing a person for a gross misdemeanor or a felony. There are some crimes that are excluded from probation as an option for sentencing, including: murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault of a minor under 16, arson, drug trafficking, lewdness with a child, and habitual criminal offenses.
What is probation?
A judge can give a person convicted of a crime probation instead of sentencing them to jail time. This allows the person to remain active in the community, rather than being put behind bars. Probation comes with specific conditions that must be abided by as ordered by the court. A probation officer supervises the individual in order to ensure that the rules and conditions are being followed.
When on probation, a person can expect the following:
- Random drug tests
- Frequent meetings with probation officer
- Treatment for drug abuse
- Home searches
- Assigned community service
- Mandatory counseling sessions
- Fines and restitution
What are the terms and conditions of probation?
According to the Probation Information Network (PIN), the following are mandatory conditions of probation:
- You must not commit another federal, state, or local crime.
- You must not unlawfully possess a controlled substance.
- You must refrain from any unlawful use of a controlled substance. You must submit to one drug test within 15 days of release from imprisonment and at least two periodic drug tests thereafter, as determined by the Court, not to exceed 104 tests annually.
- You must cooperate in the collection of DNA as directed by the probation officer.
- You must comply with the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. § 16901, et seq.) as directed by the probation officer, the Bureau of Prisons, or any state sex offender registration agency in which you reside, work, are a student, or were convicted of a qualifying offense.
- You must participate in an approved program for domestic violence.
- You must make restitution in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3663, 3663A, or any other statute authorizing restitution.
- You must pay the assessment imposed in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3013.
- If this judgment imposes a fine, you must pay in accordance with the Schedule of Payments sheet of this judgment.
- You must notify the court of any material change in your economic circumstances that might affect your ability to pay restitution, fines, or special assessments.
How does probation work in Nevada?
The process of probation is as follows:
- A person is convicted or pleads guilty of a criminal act.
- Meet and interview with Department of Parole and Probation
- A report is prepared by the Department of Parole and Probation which includes a recommendation that considers several factors: criminal history, current offense, gang affiliation (if any), previous probation behavior
- There is a sentencing hearing. The judge hears the State and defense counsel’s arguments and takes those and the Department of Parole and Probation report into consideration.
How long does probation in Nevada last?
The duration of probation depends on the crime. A person’s criminal history is also taken into consideration when the length of probation is being determined. Generally, probation in Nevada can be from 1 – 5 years. Here is a breakdown of potential duration of probation:
- Misdemeanors and Gross misdemeanors: from a few months up to 3 years
- Felonies: up to 5 years
What is a violation of probation?
When a person fails to adhere to the conditions of their probation, it is possible that they forfeit their probation and are subject to fulfill their sentence in jail. In the event of a probation violation, the judge is likely to issue a bench warrant. The person can then be arrested or may be required to appear in court.
Common violations of probation include:
- Not reporting to probation officer as scheduled
- Failure to appear in court
- Nonpayment of fines
- Additional arrests or receiving traffic tickets while on probation
What happens when the terms of probation are violated?
If a person is suspected of violating probation, they will be ordered to appear in court via: 1) a summons ordered by the judge and delivered to their latest known residence, 2) a bench warrant is issued, or 3) in some cases, the police may arrest them and present them to the judge.
At that time, a hearing is scheduled to determine the status of one’s probation and whether it has been violated. Note: It is in the best interest of the convicted to utilize the time leading up to the hearing to fulfill all of the rules and conditions of probation to show good behavior. This can lead to the judge overlooking a minor probation violation and allowing the probation period to continue rather than revoke the probation and enforce jail time.
How can an attorney help in the case of a violation of probation?
- Once a warrant is received, the first thing that one should do is contact an attorney. An attorney may not be able to get rid of a summons, but they can request an extension if you cannot show up to court on the scheduled day. An attorney can also file a motion to have a bench warrant “quashed” or thrown out.
- If the terms of probation are proving to be difficult to fulfill due to all of the provisions on top of work and life/family obligations, an attorney can assist in getting extensions to some of the deadlines associated with probation conditions.
- At a revocation hearing, an attorney provides defense in a situation where accusations of probation violations are tried by a judge and no jury. Representation by a defense attorney can ensure that one’s rights are protected particularly because the prosecution does not have to prove a violation beyond reasonable doubt.
- If there are difficulties in completing the terms of probation, an attorney can ensure that details are heard by the Judge regarding the specific difficulties, rather than the terms/conditions of the person’s probation being violated resulting in a revocation hearing.
If you violate your probation in any way, it could greatly benefit you to hire The Defenders so that they can go before the judge to schedule a hearing where it will be determined if your probation was violated or not. If you continue to follow your probation terms, this will show the judge your willingness to comply and can help demonstrate your willingness to follow the strict probation terms.
Our goal is to help you get back into compliance with your probation orders, and to preserve your rights and freedoms. You don’t have to let a probation violation set you back, or leave you with lasting consequences that have a negative impact on your life. Call The Defenders today to discuss your probation and possible violations. We will inform you of your legal rights and all of the options available to you. We will work hard to give you the best defense possible to help you fight the charges against you.