Probation allows those who have plead guilty to (or been convicted of crimes) to serve all or part of their sentences outside of jail or prison. A person who has been given probation in Oklahoma must adhere with strict terms to remain out of jail—meaning that probation violations are a very serious matter.
Probation violations can result in the acceleration or revocation of a suspended or deferred sentence, meaning that instead of completing probation in the comfort of their home with the ability to go to work and live a relatively normal life, a person will be sent to jail or prison to serve the rest of their sentence.
If you or a loved one have been accused of violating the terms of their probation, it is critical to contact Angela Singleton as soon as possible. This is not only to defend themselves against being accused of violating their probation, but also for representation in Motion to Accelerate (MTA) or Motion to Revoke (MTR) proceedings.
What are Deferred and Suspended Sentences?
In Oklahoma, probation typically follows one of two outcomes to a criminal case:
- A deferred sentence
- A suspended sentence
A deferred sentence occurs when a defendant pleads guilty, but the judge delays sentencing and instead orders probation. If probation is successfully completed, the charge is dismissed. Deferred sentences do not result in criminal conviction as long as the defendant does not violate the terms of their probation, and are typically given to first offenders or those charged with minor offenses.
Unlike a deferred sentence, a suspended sentence is the result of a criminal conviction by a judge. This type of sentence can suspend all or in part, allowing probation instead.
Conditions of Probation
While every case is unique and the terms of probation will vary accordingly, there are several probationary conditions that are commonly seen across deferred and suspended sentences, including:
- Supervision and reporting to a probation officer;
- Abstinence from drug and alcohol use;
- Substance abuse counseling or treatment;
- Other types of counseling and treatment, for example anger management or parenting classes;
- Random drug testing;
- Payment of all court costs and court-ordered fees, fines, and restitution;
- Required permission to leave the state;
- Community service;
- Prohibited association with criminals;
- Firearm restrictions; and
- Refrain from breaking any laws.
Violating any of the terms of probation is a serious offense, and could result in additional criminal charges if the violation is a criminal act. In addition, you will likely face a motion to accelerate or revoke your deferred or suspended sentence.
Motion to Accelerate (MTA)
If you were given a deferred sentence and are accused of violating probation, the District Attorney may file a Motion to Accelerate (MTA) your sentencing. Because a deferred sentence is a delayed judgment (meaning that the defendant has been neither convicted nor sentenced), a successful MTA will cause the judge to accept the original guilty plea and may result in a criminal conviction and or prison sentence.
Defendants who violate probation under a deferred sentence will not be given “credit for time served” under probation. This means that, for example, if a defendant serves three years of probation before violating its terms, they will be eligible for the full sentence allowed by law—not the full sentence minus three years served as probation.
Motion to Revoke (MTR)
Probation violations during a suspended sentence may cause the District Attorney to file a Motion to Revoke (MTR) the probation, resulting in prison or jail time for the convicted. Unlike an MTA, however, any time served in jail or prison during probation will count towards the sentence and can result in a reduction of time you could be sentenced..
For example, a defendant on a five-year sentence who has served three years in prison before being put on the probationary portion of their sentence could only face up to two years for violating the of probation. However, if a violation of the term of the two year probation is violated on the last day of the two years you could still face the full two years in prison
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Violating the terms of probation is a serious offense. When these terms are broken, the person serving probation can face severe consequences and penalties including the possibility of additional probation terms, significant fines, a revoked probation and even prison time.
Angela Singleton is committed to representing you or a loved one in the event of probation violation or a motion to accelerate/revoke. For more information about probation violation or discuss your upcoming court date, contact us today for a free consultation.