How Our Skilled North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers Assist You to Avoid the Harsh Consequences of Probation Violations 

If you were convicted of a crime or pled guilty through a plea bargain in Charlotte or Mecklenburg County, probation is much more desirable than being sentenced to a lengthy jail or prison sentence. However, you could face harsh consequences if you're accused of not complying with the rules of your probation. 

The experienced Charlotte criminal defense lawyers at Browning & Long, PLLC understand the severe ramifications of being found guilty of violating your probation and will aggressively defend you to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case—even if you believe you violated the terms of your probation. 

Understanding Probation in North Carolina

Probation is a period of supervision imposed by a judge as an alternative to incarceration. You may be sentenced to probation in misdemeanor cases, such as reckless driving or DWI, and in some felony cases. If a judge sentences you to probation, it will be for a certain length of time and they’ll impose specific rules you must follow. There are two main types of probation in North Carolina:

  • Unsupervised probation. If the judge sentences you to unsupervised probation, you don’t have to meet with a probation officer or have them oversee your compliance. You generally must be eligible for community service to qualify for unsupervised probation. In addition, you would be required to comply with specific conditions set by the court.
  • Supervised probation. If your sentence includes supervised probation, a probation officer is assigned to you. You’re required to attend regular meetings with them and comply with a broader range of conditions, such as drug testing, attending drug or alcohol counseling, or completing a lengthy period of community service.

Common Probation Violations in Criminal Cases

Unfortunately, you could unintentionally violate judge-ordered probationary rules in many ways, even if you’re trying to comply with them. Common probation violations include:

  • Not reporting to a probation officer at scheduled appointments
  • Failure to pay fines or restitution
  • Not attending court hearings
  • Not completing community service
  • Testing positive for drug or alcohol when given random drug tests
  • Committing new criminal offenses.
  • Violating specific conditions set by the court, such as staying away from certain individuals or locations
  • Not remaining employed

Whether you unintentionally breached your probation terms or are facing false allegations, it’s crucial to understand your rights and potential defenses. At Browning & Long, our experienced Charlotte criminal defense lawyers provide the guidance and advocacy you need to defend yourself during complex legal proceedings and fight to remain on probation.

Outcomes of Probation Violations in Mecklenburg County

The circumstances and severity of your violation, as well as your prior criminal record, dictate the penalties enforced. You could face these potential consequences:

  • Your immediate arrest.
  • Transfer of your probation from unsupervised to supervised.
  • An extension of the time you must stay on probation.
  • Revocation of your probation and imposition of the original sentence, which could result in your incarceration.
  • A finding that you’re in contempt of court and an order requiring you to serve a jail sentence. 
  • Modification of your probation conditions, such as additional requirements or stricter supervision.
  • A continuation of your probation with no additional terms being set. 

How a Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyer Helps You With a Probation Violation

If the prosecutor or your probation officer claim you’re not following the rules set for your probation, don’t simply plead guilty and accept your punishment. The legal team at Browning & Long, PLLC, can mount a defense if you violate the terms of your probation or are falsely accused of committing a violation. We may be able to refute the prosecutor or probation officer's claims—even if you know that you are guilty of this. Here’s how our attorneys can provide you with invaluable assistance.

We Offer Detailed Legal Advice

Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys explain your rights, defenses, and legal options. This helps you understand the potential ramifications of alleged probation violations and decide on the best course of action to take.

We Develop a Solid Defense Strategy

This is tailored to the specific circumstances of your case. We’re former prosecutors, so we’re familiar with the tactics Mecklenburg County prosecutors present in a probation violation court hearing, which gives you an added advantage. We also gather evidence to assist in your defense, identify mitigating factors, and challenge any false allegations or procedural errors.

We’re Shrewd Negotiators 

We’ll tackle negotiations with the prosecution or probation department to seek a favorable resolution to the allegations against you. If the prosecutor has evidence of your probation violations, we may be able to work out a deal, such as leniency in sentencing or alternative consequences to incarceration.

We Provide Court Representation

In most cases, you would be required to attend a court hearing to decide whether you violated probationary terms and what the consequences should be pursuant to North Carolina General Statute §15A-1245. Your Browning & Long legal counsel will attend this hearing with you as skilled representation, present evidence in your defense, retain expert witnesses if necessary, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate on your behalf to help you achieve a good outcome.

C. Todd Browning
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer