When you are sentenced to probation for a DUI conviction in Sarpy County in Nebraska, you have to follow a set of restrictive rules to the letter. Typically, the court orders you to serve a term of incarceration and then suspends that order, allowing you to serve the time on probation in lieu of jail or prison. If you violate the terms of your DUI probation in Sarpy County, however, the court may order you to actually serve your jail or prison term.
A probation violation typically alleges one of two things – that you committed a new crime or that you failed to comply with a condition of your probation. Probation conditions can vary but usually include things such as maintaining employment, not consuming alcohol or drugs, attending counseling or therapy, and reporting to your officer as directed. Probation following a DU conviction may also require you to be tested for alcohol usage and/or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for the duration of your probation. Failing to abide by any probation term can lead to a violation being filed. Your probation officer usually decides whether or not to file a violation against you, unless you are charged with a new crime in which case the prosecutor may already be aware of the violation. Typically, your officer will submit the alleged violation to the court and a warrant or order to appear will be issued to you.
Regardless of how you violate your DUI probation — through not fulfilling conditions or committing another crime — you will have to go through a probation revocation hearing once the violation has been filed with the court. This is not a traditional court hearing with a jury, but rather one with a judge, defense, and prosecution. Because a probation hearing is not the same as a court trial, revocation can occur if the prosecution convinces the court that you most likely did violate probation. In other words, the prosecutor does not have to prove the violation “beyond reasonable doubt.”
You have a right to defend yourself against the allegations in a probation violation hearing. The basis of your defense will depend on the reason for the alleged violation. If the court ultimately finds that you did indeed violate your probation the court can do one of three things:
- Continue your probation unchanged
- Continue your probation with added conditions or modifications
- Revoke your probation
If the court revokes your probation you will usually be ordered to serve your suspended sentence originally ordered by the court. This is most likely to occur when the violation was serious, such as a new charge for a serious offense. If the violation was relatively minor, such as failure to complete a required theft class, the court might be more inclined to modify the original terms of your probation and continue you on probation.
A probation violation is serious. If you violate your DUI probation in Sarpy County, consult with an experienced Sarpy County DUI attorney as soon as possible. For a free case evaluation, contact Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180.