Question: My probation officer said she’s going to give me a probation violation because while I was on probation for shoplifting, I got a marijuana charge. I was put on probation in Alpharetta about six weeks ago for shoplifting and last week I got a marijuana charge in Roswell.
I told my probation officer about the pot charge and now she’s giving me a probation violation.
I got the shoplifting charge at the North Point Mall when I tried to take something from a store. I don’t know why I did it and it was dumb. I got busted by store security and they held me for the Alpharetta police, who came and arrested me. It was my first ever arrest for anything and I’m definitely not shoplifting anymore, ever again. I learned my lesson. I really didn’t even need the thing, but I just tried to take it, and out of nowhere store security came over to me when I tried to leave the store.
I got the pot charge in Roswell because I was out with a few friends and we were smoking weed in a Roswell park. While we were smoking, a cop walked by and smelled the weed and asked us we were doing. It was obvious we were getting high and the pot smelled up the place.
Now I’m facing a probation violation charge in Alpharetta and my probation officer is pretty pissed off. She said I might have to go to jail and I don’t want to go to jail because I have a job. If I go to jail I could lose my job.
I just want to know how I should handle the violation of probation and what I need to do and I want to hire a criminal defense lawyer near me.
H.G. in Johns Creek, Georgia
Answer: If you are on probation and you get another criminal charge, that is a violation of your probation. If you violate probation, your probation officer can set a probation revocation hearing. At the hearing, a judge will decide if you should go to jail.
When someone is put on probation and they are charged with breaking the law, that is a violation of probation. But there are also other ways to violate probation. These include not checking-in as scheduled with your probation officer, not paying a fine or not completing community service that was ordered, or failing a breath or blood test.
Generally, the prosecutor or solicitor is not involved in the probation violation hearing. The probation officer would make the allegations and present his or her case to the judge, stating why you, in their opinion, violated probation.
You should certainly have an attorney to help you with any probation violation. You have a lot to lose. You need someone who understands the law and can present your side of the case to the judge. It also helps if your attorney has a good professional relationship with the probation officer and the judge.
Both Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman are criminal defense lawyers who have the experience that can really help you, having served as a judge and a prosecutor.
When you’re facing a probation violation, just call us. We’re here for you 24/7. Our phone number is 678-712-8561.