Michigan law considers probation a “form of leniency” and not a right. It can be served by itself or with a jail or prison term as a result of being found guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony. Probation requires regular check-ins with a probation officer who is hired by the department of corrections. These check-ins can be once a month or once a week, which is referred to as “intensive probation.” A judge may order the defendant to meet with the probation officer personally or it can be done by other means; a probation can be non-reporting, report by mail, report by e-mail or report by telephone.
Probation can be revoked at any time if any terms or conditions set in the sentencing have been violated and in any manner the court finds appropriate. There are some general conditions that apply to nearly all probation cases. Engaging in threatening or intimidating behavior, moving to a different home or getting a different job without notifying and getting permission from the probation officer, failing to pay fines as ordered, being arrested or not reporting any contact with the police can all result in a revocation of the probation. Also, failing a drug or alcohol test or committing another offense that involves drugs or alcohol could land that person behind bars.
Probation violations may also include missing or being late for a meeting with the PO or a court scheduled appointment, associating with known criminals, leaving the state without permission, not maintaining attendance at school or employment or not completing community service.
In cases of probation violation, a person may receive a notice of a violation hearing or a revocation hearing or find out that a warrant has been issued for their arrest. There will be an arraignment where the person will be notified of the alleged violation(s). To contest the allegations, the defendant has a right to a probation violation hearing.
If the probation violation defense was insufficient and they were found to have violated the terms of their probation, there are several things that can happen. Best case, in situations where the violation was minor, there may only be a fine to pay. Another possibility is the terms of the probation are modified or it is extended. There could be additional meetings with the PO, counseling, community service, etc. In the worst case scenario, the judge may revoke the probation and sentence the accused to a jail or prison term for the underlying offense.
Legalquest Network serves the cities of Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Sterling Heights.