Should I Agree to a Probation Revocation?

Occasionally in my practice I have a client who is facing probation revocation. While many times I’m successful in getting them a sanction or revoked to Community Corrections where they remain out of prison, sometimes that’s not in their best interest. Read on for the deciding factor in when to agree to be revoked to prison.

The number one reason to agree to prison is simply a matter of time. It’s a loosely held notion that when you’re sentenced to prison you can expect to do a third of your time. This is do to overcrowding for the most part. For example, if you are sentenced to 10 years, it’s a fairly safe bet that you’ll do around three of those years in prison. Of course this is only an estimate, and an extreme oversimplification, but it proves true more times than not.

When I’ve got a client who has spent a majority of his sentence on probation before facing revocation, it becomes a matter of estimating how much time he’ll do in prison. In one instance a client was serving a 10 year sentence on probation so he was facing three years in prison. However, he had been in jail for almost five months awaiting revocation as well as almost a year before his original sentence began, and that jail credit is used by the Department of Corrections in determining when he will be eligible for release. So a quick check with the DOC confirmed that if he was revoked he would only be in prison for about nine months to a year. It turned out that with his good behavior in prison he did six months before his release on parole.

So what was the alternative to getting revoked? Well in this case he could have chosen to do Etowah County’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program or SAPP in jail which is a minimum of six months and as long as a year, or he could have been revoked to Community Corrections. Though he might have gotten the same time to serve in Community Corrections as in prison, it’s been my experience that when a client is serving his prison sentence in Community Corrections he tends to do more time than if he were in prison. Out of sight out of mind I suppose, but it makes sense that a defendant in prison costs money whereas a defendant in the community pays his own way.

Time is the number one reason why I will let a client stipulate to a revocation to prison. If you’re facing prison you have options. Even if I wasn’t your lawyer the first time around I can still help keep the impact of prison in your life to a minimum. Call me today!

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