Pasadena DUI Probation Violations
The majority of defendants convicted of a Pasadena DUI offense are placed on probation by the sentencing judge. As part of his or her sentence, the defendant will be required to follow whatever terms and conditions are prescribed by the judge. Failure to adhere to these specific terms and conditions can result in a Pasadena probation violation and potential jail time.
A sentence for a DUI offense can depend on a number of factors; including the factual circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history and the sentencing judge or prosecutor handling the case. For a Pasadena DUI offense, a defendant can expect to be placed on probation for a period between three and five years. A defendant will be expected to complete an alcohol education program and pay extensive court fines. The defendant may also be required to complete mandatory community service or community labor hours, attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel or programs like the Hospital and Morgue (“HAM”) program. Failure to complete any of these programs in a timely fashion can result in a probation violation and the defendant’s probation being revoked.
In addition to completing the various requirements of probation set forth by the sentencing judge, the defendant will also be expected to refrain from driving without a valid license or insurance in the proper amounts during the probation period. The defendant cannot commit any new violations of the law and cannot drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in his or her system. This means that driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or higher is forbidden.
Because Pasadena is in Los Angeles County, those sentenced to a DUI offense would be expected to install and maintain an Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) in their vehicle for a minimum of five months. If the driver is caught driving without an IID, he or she can be charged with driving on a suspended license in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 14601.2 VC in addition to a probation violation.
Typically, a Pasadena DUI probation violation will be triggered after the defendant misses a court due date or is charged with a new offense. A warrant will be issued by the sentencing judge and the defendant can be arrested at any time. The defendant will have to appear before the judge in order to deal with the probation violation. Probation will be revoked while the violation matter is pending. In many cases, the defendant will have to deal with both new criminal charges as well as a probation violation on the old case.
The defendant is entitled to a hearing to address the probation violation. In many cases, the judge will impose additional penalties and put the defendant back on probation for the remainder of the probation period. If the defendant’s probation violation was especially egregious or if the defendant has had numerous violations in the past, the judge may simply revoke probation, take the defendant into custody and execute the misdemeanor sentence.
In some circumstances, the defendant may be charged with a probation violation after failing to pay court fines or failing to pay victim restitution for any damages caused. While a willful failure to pay may be grounds for a probation violation, appellate courts have held that it is improper to jail someone who legitimately does not have the money or ability to pay fines or restitution.
If the defendant cannot pay court fines, the judge will often allow the defendant to work off his or her fines through community service or community labor. If the defendant is unable to pay restitution, the judge can extend the probation period until the restitution amount is paid in full. Alternatively, the restitution obligation may simply be transformed into a financial judgment against the defendant that would be reported to credit bureaus and would potentially prevent the defendant from being able to qualify for loans in the future.
If you are on probation for a DUI offense and believe that you may have committed a probation violation, it is very important that you meet with a Pasadena DUI Attorney right away. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Pasadena DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut is highly respected by judges and prosecutors at the Pasadena Courthouse. In many cases, Mr. Kraut can have warrants cleared and probation violations taken care of without his client ever having to appear in court.
For more information about Pasadena DUI probation violations, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Pasadena DUI Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 790 East Colorado Boulevard, 9th Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 626-345-1899.