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Revocation of probation – Fairfax criminal lawyer on its risks

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Revocation of probation - Fairfax criminal lawyer on its risks - Image of cocaine bag

Revocation of probation – Fairfax criminal lawyer on its risks

Revocation of probation is a risk after release from incarceration, says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Revocation of probation is a risk that many criminal defendants do not consider as much as simply staying out of jail in the first place or getting released from jail as soon as possible. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that many convicted criminal defendants get charged with probation violations, and that probation revocation for felony cases often brings substantial sentences after the defendant has already served some or much time in jail or prison.

Fairfax criminal lawyer on revocation of probation for committing a new crime

Probation revocations imposed for committing new crimes typically receive the harshest sentences. Depending on the circumstances, I will sometimes point out the extent to which the new crime was for among the more minor misdemeanors, or how a conviction for drug possession does not merit being treated more harshly than providing a dirty urine sample for illegal drugs, when considering that a dirty urine typically results from possessing illegal drugs.

Fairfax criminal lawyer on judges treating drug sales offenses firmly for probation violation sentencing

Dealing drugs is sentenced more seriously than possessing drugs, both in the probation revocation and initial prosecution settings. Ezekiel Dennison learned that when he received three-year sentence for committing possession with intent to distribute cocaine (even though it was a rather small amount of cocaine) while on probation for a drug dealing conspiracy conviction for which he served nearly twelve years in prison. U.S. v. Dennison, ___F.3d ___ (4th Cir., Aug. 21, 2019 (amended date)).

At Dennison’s probation revocation hearing, the judge found that he had committed the offense of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (as charged in the probation violation charging document) even though the chemist testified that it was powder cocaine. The Fourth Circuit found plain error in the trial court’s finding culpability for a different substance than testified to, but reasoned that it still amounted to a probation violation that would not make for a better sentence for punishment for his probation violation.

Recidivism is a risk for many convicted criminal defendants. Unfortunately, probation revocation sentences for new convictions can be harsh.

Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz pursues your best defense against felony, misdemeanor, DUI, drug and marijuana prosecutions. For a free in-person meeting with Jon Katz about your pending criminal court case, please call his staff at 703-383-1100 to schedule a confidential consultation.