Domestic Violence Probation
Many defendants who are convicted of a domestic violence offense are placed on probation for a specified period of time. In some cases, the judge may deny probation and the defendant would be sentenced to serve his or her sentence in county jail or state prison, depending on whether or not the underlying offense was a misdemeanor or a felony. If the Court grants probation, the defendant will be expected to adhere to the terms and conditions of probation, including any domestic violence protective order.Summary vs. Supervised Probation
If the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor level offense, the Court typically will place him or her on summary probation for a period of three to five years. Defendants on summary probation are not actively monitored by the county probation department. Instead, they will be given several due dates by which they must complete counseling, community labor, community service, jail, fines and any other condition of probation imposed by the Court.
Defendants who are convicted of felony-level domestic violence crimes are often placed on supervised probation. They will have to regularly check in with the probation department and may be subject to random drug testing. Probation will monitor the defendant’s progress and will report any violations to the sentencing court.Terms of Probation for Domestic Violence Offenders
Defendants who are convicted of a domestic violence crime will usually be expected to complete several requirements of probation. The Court will usually require that the defendant complete the 52-week batterers program designed for domestic violence offenders. In addition, the court may require that the defendant complete community service or community labor hours, pay extensive court fines and even serve time in jail.
The Court will usually issue a protective order as a condition of probation. This order would prevent the defendant from having any contact with the named victim. Any violation of the order could be considered a probation violation and would be grounds for new criminal charges. In some cases, the named victim may want to reconcile with the defendant and have the protective order lifted. The Court may be willing to terminate the protective order or reduce it to a Level One protective order which allows for peaceful conduct between the parties. The defendant would be ordered to surrender any firearms in his or her possession and would be precluded from owning or possessing firearms.Domestic Violence Probation Violations
If the defendant fails to complete a term of his or her probation in a timely manner or is charged with a new offense, the Court may issue a probation violation and bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest. The Court may revoke probation entirely and send the defendant to jail or prison as a result of the violation or the Court may reinstate probation and add additional terms, such as extra community labor or community service days or additional days in custody.
The defendant is entitled to a hearing to contest the probation violation. At the hearing, the defendant’s attorney can present evidence and testimony showing why a violation did not occur. Unlike criminal trials, a probation violation hearing is held before a judge and not a jury.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a domestic violence offense or are already on probation for a domestic violence crime, it is critical that you meet with an attorney who handles these types of cases as soon as possible. Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who fight hard on behalf of his clients charged with domestic violence crimes. In many cases, Mr. Kraut’s early intervention has led to criminal charges being dismissed or significantly reduced.
For more information about domestic violence probation and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.