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Can Probation Be Violated For Any Little Problem?

Can Probation Be Violated For Any Little Problem?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Realistically, would any little violation, and this is where I’ve been told from customers with Bail Bond Cowboys, ‘hey, my PO is going to violate me if he finds out I did something…’, would any little violation, while on probation, provide the adequate cause to remand the person back to jail?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“The answer is ‘yes’. Practically, the answer is ‘not always’.“

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Obviously, that’s what the viewers need to understand.”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Let’s flesh that out, and back up a little bit and talk about probation that’s formal or informal as well. Because we haven’t quite gotten there yet. So with felonies, formal probation is always going to be required. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s going to be a lot of regular contact or face-to-face contact between a probation officer and a defendant. But the defendant will have to report. Going to probation is significant. They have to register with probation, they have to give all their information, they have to keep that information up to date.

With misdemeanors, and informal probation, what that really is…the court is doing what’s called ‘conditional release to the community’. And it’s permission from the court to function outside in the real world without having to report to somebody. In that situation, getting caught is the problem. You get caught…if you’ve been arrested, it’s probably because there’s something significant.

If a person has DUI conditions, and they can’t drink, or you can’t drink with any measurable alcohol in your system, that’s often another characteristic. And they do drink, and they do drive, and they don’t get caught, then no one is ever going to proceed with a petition to violate their probation. Because they’re not getting caught.

If we now take it back to formal probation, the probation office can cause a problem for the defendant. Let’s use an example of a client in Contra Costa county. A domestic violence case where the victim was clearly a person with significant issues. She gets a phone call, doesn’t know where the phone call was from, the person hangs up, and she reports it to the probation officer and says ‘he is harassing me again’. The probation office says ‘let me see your phone. What was the phone number?’ She says ‘well it was unlisted. I don’t know’. He says ‘what did they say to you?’ She says ‘they didn’t say anything’. He says ‘how do you know it was him?’ She says ‘oh I know him. He’s just trying to mess up my life’. So the client survived a series of complaints from the victim in that situation.

He was required however, to attend domestic violence classes. 52 a year. 52 in a year is the requirement for any kind of domestic violence case…that begins as a domestic violence case, no matter how it ends up. If it ends up as a disturbing the peace because the DA recognizes it’s not a very strong case and the victim might have made up something, they still get a conviction out of the defendant. Probably not fairly done, and probably because he didn’t do anything. They still don’t want to give it away. They want to hold on to him. He’s got to do his 52 sessions of counseling.

If you sign up for a program, and you miss a session, and you have formal probation, the probation officer will probably get a call from the program. Or they might be calling the program to check up. If you miss one session, you’ve got to start the session over again, and you might not get a probation violation petition. If you mess up more than once, and you start over again, the probation officer is going to think about filing a petition to revoke your probation.”

If you’ve been charged with a crime, one of the things that you should think of is what type of defenses are available to you. There are different types of legal defenses available in criminal law, and the type of criminal defense applicable to you and your case will depend on your situation.

Criminal defense law consists of all the legal protections given to individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. In criminal court, the prosecutor must meet the burden of proof – that is, the responsibility of proving their allegations against the accused.

The police and prosecutors have plenty of resources at their disposal to go after someone and charge them with a crime. To balance the power within the justice system, certain protections are in place for the accused. These, and the skills and experience of a defense attorney will dictate how a defendant will be treated in criminal litigation.

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to use constitutional laws for the benefit of their client. For instance, criminal prosecution is based upon the evidence gathered by law enforcers. This evidence can be in the form of physical evidence. This will usually consist of objects found in a crime scene, like a possible weapon, tire marks, shoe print, or even tiny pieces of fabric.

Common Defenses in a Criminal Case

There are many common defenses to criminal charges. You may argue that there are inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case against you, that the evidence gathered violated your constitutional rights, or that you had a justifiable reason for committing the crime. Below are some common primary criminal law defenses.


The defendant didn’t commit the crime you were charged for. The defense can provide an alibi proving you weren’t at the scene when the crime occurred, or present evidence and witnesses that can counter the prosecution’s case.


The defendant admits to using force. However, the defense argues that it’s justified since it was done in self-defense due to the violent and threatening actions of the other party.

Insanity Defense

The defendant may plead insanity to avoid being punished, since a criminal punishment is only justified if the offender has full control over their actions and understand that what they did was wrong.

Under Influence

In certain circumstances, a defendant may commit crimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This can be used as a criminal defense as if it affects the defendant’s mental functioning to the point where they cannot be held accountable for their actions.


If law enforcement officers caused the defendant to commit a crime that they wouldn’t have otherwise committed, then it’s considered entrapment and be used as a defense in criminal court.


Claiming innocence is one of the most basic defenses to criminal liability. You must remember that the prosecution has to prove the crime filed against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re innocent, you don’t have to prove anything, but you can provide documents, testimonies, or evidence that will support the claim that you’re innocent.

Constitutional Violation

A constitutional violation is a type of criminal defense used if the evidence collected by the prosecution was gathered in a manner that violated your constitutional rights. This can include the illegal search, entry, or seizure of your house, car, clothing, etc. Failing to obtain an entry warrant, getting an improper confession, or failing to read to you your “Miranda Rights” at the time of your arrest are also constitutional violations that could lead to suppression of evidence against you or the total dismissal of the case.

Defense of Others

Similar to self-defense, you can use this type of defense if you have used a justifiable amount of force or violence to protect others who are being threatened or are in danger.

Other types of criminal defenses include defense of property, necessity, involuntary/voluntary intoxication, mistake of law, coercion, abandonment, and the statute of limitations.

If you’re accused a crime in California, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side when you face your charges. With over 20 years of experience successfully defending clients in California, Andrew Dósa understands the unique challenges of criminal defense in Alameda, CA and other areas in California.

Contact Attorney:

Andrew Dosa

Andrew Dosa


Andrew Alexander Dósa is a trial attorney with more than 36 years of experience in civil/business litigation, criminal defense, personal injury claims, and estate planning.


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