In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Community Sentencing, or a District Attorney’s office may be the entity supervising your probation. No matter the supervising authority, the offender must check in with their probation officer and adhere to all conditions ordered by the court. Court orders for those on probation are numerous. They often include payment of restitution or other fees, sobriety restrictions, mandatory classes or counseling, restrictions on whom you can contact, substance abuse treatment, and more. With so many mandatory terms to follow, it is easy to violate probation.
In addition to different supervising authorities for probationers, those on probation arrive in many different ways. These include:
- A sentence of probation through a plea with the district attorney or ordered by a court;
- Probation as part of a deferred sentence;
- Probation as part of a suspended sentence
Oklahomans convicted of criminal offenses may plea, or be ordered by a court, to a term of probation in place of jail or prison time or following a period of incarceration. Those offenders who manage to follow all of the terms of probation can discharge following the duration of the term of probation (which can last from a few months to several years). Unfortunately, as mentioned above, that can be challenging or possible to do. And, fair or not, sometimes even minor offenses while on probation can have a damaging effect. If you are facing penalties as a result of a probation violation, which may include prison time, it is essential that you seek out an attorney to advocate on your behalf.
Offenders who violate their probation are often required to attend a Department of Corrections Probation Hearing. At a DOC hearing, the prosecutor will attempt to show that you violated your terms of probation, and is only required to meet that showing by a “preponderance of the evidence” — this is a much lower burden of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard needed for a criminal conviction. At a DOC Hearing, the judge will consider the evidence presented by both parties. An Oklahoma City corrections hearing attorney with Wirth Law Office can address the court on your behalf and help it understand what happened and why to give you the best opportunity to avoid jail or prison time.
In Oklahoma, a deferred sentence allows individuals to avoid conviction if they comply with all aspects of their court-ordered probation throughout their imposed sentence. Once the individual completes probation, the court dismisses the case and enters a plea of “not guilty” on behalf of the defendant.
If the offender violates a term or terms of their probation, however, the District Attorney may file for the deferred sentence to be “accelerated.” When an offender’s deferred judgment is accelerated the court can sentence the them to incarceration for the entirety of the sentence they were initially convicted for — even if that violation came years into a deferred sentence. If the District Attorney has notified you of their intent to accelerate your deferred sentence or have reason to believe that may occur, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney. An Oklahoma City corrections hearing attorney with Wirth Law Office may be able to determine if your original offense has since been reclassified to a lesser offense and argue for such or advocate for your possible resentencing. No matter the angle, our attorneys will seek to help you avoid a harsh judgment.
Suspended sentences differ from deferred sentences, though they do share many similarities. Like a deferred sentence, offenders given a suspended sentence avoid incarceration time by agreeing to abide by the terms of probation ordered by the court. The difference is that offenders granted a suspended sentence are still convicted of the underlying crime and will not have it dismissed after the successful completion of probation. While not as beneficial for the offender, a suspended sentence still allows offenders that complete probation to avoid time in jail or prison.
Like in a deferred sentence, offenders who violate the terms of their probation may find themselves at risk of being sent to jail or prison. In the context of a suspended sentence, this is called “revocation of a suspended sentence.” Again, like with a deferred sentence, an Oklahoma City corrections hearing attorney with Wirth Law Office can determine if your original offense has since been reclassified to a lesser offense and argue for such or advocate for your possible resentencing. No matter the angle, our attorneys will seek to help you avoid a harsh judgment.
Oklahoma DOC Hearing Attorney
At the Wirth Law Office, we understand how frightening the prospect of being sent to jail or prison for violating the terms of your probation can be. There are several ways an Oklahoma City DOC hearing attorney can help you.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma City DOC hearing attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400. You can also submit an email question from the top right corner of this page. We will respond to all inquiries as soon as possible.