Milwaukee Area Lawyers Defend Individuals Facing Probation and Supervision Revocation Hearings
Being placed on extended supervision or probation can be a great alternative to jail. Unfortunately, there can be many requirements and rules governing the time spent on probation, making it confusing and difficult to avoid prison.
If you or somebody you know is facing a revocation of probation hearing, do not go it alone. If the hearing does not go well, you may be put in prison. Be sure to have an attorney assist you at your revocation hearing. With proper legal help, you may avoid or minimize jail time.
The Revocation Hearing Process in Wisconsin
The timeframe and process of a revocation hearing is fairly convoluted and can be difficult to follow. There are many time extensions the Department of Corrections can grant and the preliminary hearing is almost always waived. In general, the process follows this order:
- An individual on probation is believed to have violated the supervision terms.
- The probation agent places the individual on “probation hold.”
- The individual is arrested and held in jail.
- Within a few days (usually 3-11 working days), the agent meets with the individual to take a statement.
- The agent investigates whether the suspected violation actually occurred.
- If the agent decides the individual should be revoked, the individual is notified within 2 working days. If the agent chooses not to revoke, then the individual is released from jail.
- A preliminary hearing may be held within 15-20 days of the arrest.
- A final hearing is held within 50 days of the arrest. At this hearing, the judge determines whether to revoke or not.
What Can Happen at Revocation Hearings
Revocation hearings have a much different standard of evidence than criminal cases. While the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal cases, a revocation hearing only requires a preponderance of evidence.
The probation agent bringing the revocation hearing can actually use hearsay as evidence.
Additionally, the decision to revoke or not is entirely up to the judge. The judge will take into account the agent’s and counsel’s recommendations, but the decision to incarcerate or not is, ultimately, the judge’s alone. Making sure the judge is favorably disposed towards the individual is the job of a skilled revocation hearing attorney.
If Probation Is Revoked, How Long Will the Sentence Be?
When a court places an individual on probation or extended supervision, it is always after the person is convicted, but not necessarily after a sentence has been handed down. The consequences of a revoked probation can vary wildly, depending on what happened before probation was granted.
For those who were given a stayed sentence, losing at a revocation hearing means they will have to complete their sentence in prison.
If no sentence was given at the initial criminal case, the revocation hearing may result in an actual sentence being handed down.
Individuals who received a stayed sentence have a better idea of what a revoked supervision means. For those who were not given a sentence, the consequences are significantly less clear. Regardless of whether you received a sentence or not, you should have an experienced Wisconsin criminal lawyer by your side at the revocation hearing.