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Criminal Defense FAQs

Q: What is probation?.

A: Probation is a time period that you are required to comply with certain terms set forth by the court and your probation officer, be it attending AA meetings or possibly a domestic violence or anger management program. Should you fail to complete or comply with said terms, your probation officer may “violate” you.

Q: What is a probation violation?.

A: A probation violation (PV) is when you fail to comply with the terms of your probation. A PV will be set in front of the judge, and you can admit to the violation OR you can schedule a full hearing to determine if you are in violation or not.

Q: What happens if I am found guilty of a probation violation?.

A: Generally upon sentence, a judge will sentence you to a longer period of time in jail and suspend a good portion of your sentence. Something like: 30 days in jail, 27 days suspended. If you violate probation, the remaining 27 days of jail may be imposed by the judge. There are judges out there who specifically tell you at sentencing that if you are back on a probation violation, you will automatically receive the balance of your sentence.

Q: I can’t afford an attorney, what do I do?.

A: If you face jail time and cannot afford a lawyer, the U.S. Constitution has a provision in it that requires that you be provided an attorney at no cost to you. In some courts, these are regular attorneys who may charge a paying client $200 to $400 an hour, depending. In other instances, there may be a full-time public defender and this is that person’s only job.

As you can imagine, public defenders have large caseloads, and you may not receive the personal attention that you would should you retain Kirner & Boldt Co., L.P.A. While I have great respect for all public defenders, the old adage “you get what you pay for” may be relevant.

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