Violating Federal Probation or Supervised Release
When sentencing someone who has pled or been found guilty of a crime, federal judges have the option of ordering the individual to serve a term of probation or supervised release in lieu of jail time. Similarly, federal judges can order certain defendants to serve a term of supervised release after they complete a prison sentence. Violating federal probation or supervised release can have severe consequences. For instance, if a person violates a condition of his or her probation, the court can continue probation, with or without extending the term or modifying the conditions, or revoke probation and impose another sentence, although for certain violations, revocation is required. If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation or supervised release, you need the advice of an experienced federal crime attorney who can help defend your interests.
Types of Violations
Violations of probation and supervised release are categorized into three broad classifications that range from serious felonious criminal acts to less serious criminal conduct and technical violations. The three grades of probation and supervised release violations include:
- Grade A violations, which involve conduct that qualifies as a federal, state, or local offense punishable by more than a year in prison and is a crime of violence, an offense involving a controlled substance, or possession of a firearm, or any offense that is punishable by more than 20 years imprisonment;
- Grade B violations, which involve conduct that qualifies as a federal, state, or local offense that is punishable by more than one year imprisonment; and
- Grade C violations, which involve conduct that constitutes a federal, state, or local offense that is punishable by imprisonment for up to a year, or any violation of a condition of probation.
When a person is accused of committing more than one violation, or the violation involves conduct that constitutes more than a single offense, the grade will be determined based on the most severe of the offenses.
Probation officers are required by law to report any alleged Grade A or B violations to the court.
However, when it comes to Grade C violations, officers only have to report the offense if:
- The violation is major and part of a continuing pattern of violations; and
- Failing to report the violation would present an undue risk to an individual or the public.
If a court finds that a probationer or person on supervised release did commit a Grade A or B violation, it is required to revoke probation or supervised release. For Grade C violations, courts are given discretion to:
- Revoke probation or supervised release; or
- Extend the term of probation or modify its conditions.
The consequences of a Grade B or C violation will depend on the minimum term of imprisonment for the original offense, the severity of the new violation, and the person’s criminal history.
Schedule an Appointment With an Experienced Federal Crime Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a federal crime or accused of violating federal probation, please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami at 305-670-9919 to learn more about your legal options.