July 27, 2012
The Consequences of Violating a Probation Before Judgment in Maryland
In a previous post, we discussed a Probation Before Judgment disposition and what it meant for a defendant. Here we answer a common question: what happens if I violate my probation and I have a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ)?
A defendant with a Probation Before Judgment is placed on either supervised or unsupervised probation. There are usually a list of conditions he or she must abide by to successfully complete probation.
However, if the defendant violates a restriction or condition of their probation, and/or commits another crime, he may be subject to serious consequences.
For example, a defendant is placed on two years of supervised probation following a PBJ disposition for a DUI charge. Some of his conditions are to abstain from alcohol, attend a MADD meeting, complete an alcohol education class, regularly report to his probation officer and obey all laws.
A year into the probation, the defendant gets pulled over for speeding, but the officer smells a strong odor of alcohol and asks our defendant to step out of the car. The defendant refuses the field sobriety tests and preliminary breath test, but takes the breath test later at the station. He blows a .08 and receives another DUI charge.
Under a Probation Before Judgment, the defendant is supposed to report this charge to his probation officer if he has one. The officer would then file a report with the judge. If the defendant is on unsupervised or supervised probation, he is subject to random record checks. So let’s say our defendant didn’t report his new charge to his supervisor, yet his officer ran a record check on him and found the DUI. The probation officer files her report with the judge. The defendant may then be issued a summons to appear, or a bench warrant for his arrest.
If a defendant is found guilty of violating his or her probation within a PBJ, the judge has the ability to strike the Probation Before Judgment disposition and impose a guilty finding. This means the defendant is subject to the minimum or maximum sentence and/or fines from the original and newer charges. Also, the defendant now has a criminal record.
If you are charged with a crime or have violated your Probation Before Judgment in Maryland, be sure to contact an attorney with Cochran and Chhabra at 888-268-5515, so that you fully understand your options and rights.
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