In Maryland, probation is the conditional release of a peerson convited of a crime from incarceration. It is uaually imposed by the trial judge at the time of sentencing. Probation is supervised by the Division of Parole and Probation of the State of Maryland.
What is a Probation Violation? When a Maryland criminal defendant is on probation, there are general conditions of probation in the probation order and special conditions of probation that are usually written in by the court hat have to be obeyed. If any of these rules are broken during the probationary period, a probation violation occurs, which could result in having the probation terminated and the original jail sentence imposed. In order for probation to be terminated, however, the court must hold a hearing at which the defendant will either admit or deny the violation.
n. A Maryland probation attorney can look for issues that will be helpful to contest the violations of special conditions that may have been imposed.
Probation is conditional, which means that the defendant's freedom depends on his or her compliance with certain conditions. Some of these conditions are general, which means that they apply to all probationers regardless of individual circumstances. Examples of general conditions include a requirement to obey all laws, to avoid associating with known felons, to pay all fines and any restitution ordered by the court, and to inform the Other conditions are tailored to the probationer's individual circumstances. These conditions may include compliance with substance abuse treatment (about 70% of persons convicted of a crime in Maryland have issues involving substance abuse). Other conditions might include a requirement to stay away from the victim of a violent crime, or to maintain steady employment. Probationers are often ordered to remain within the State, however, a probationer can request relaxation of a particular condition if it conflicts, for instance, with duties of employment. Thus, a truck driver whose job requires him to drive to different states can ask a judge to release him or her from the requirement to remain within the state. It is advisable to engage the services of an experienced Maryland probation attorney before entering any motions for modification.
Once a person has been granted probation, he or she will meet regularly with a probation officer. The probation officer is a State employee who will supervise the probationer's progress. In particular, the probation officer will want to make sure that the probationer has not re-offended, and that his or her contact information is current.
Probation can be supervised or unsupervised. If the probaiton is supervised, the probationer will need to report in person to his or her probation officer. After an intitial period, the probation officer may allow the probationer to report by telephone or mail. If the probation is unsupervised, the probationer does not need to report at all, although the conditions of probation still apply.
If the probation agent "violates" the probationer -- that is, if the agent determines the probationer has not kept his or her end of the bargain, then the probation agent will file a complaint with the court in which the probationer was originally convicted. The court will then schedule a "violation of probation hearing." A violation of probation hearing is technically a civil matter, which means that the stringent constitutional safeguards do not apply. In order to find that a probationer has violated the terms of the probation, a judge will only have to use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard (roughly, a 51% chance that the charges are true), rather than the much more stringent standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" (roughly a 95% chance).