Rhode Island Violation Hearing Lawyer

Law Offices of Michael J. Zarrella

Rhode Island and its violation of probation laws.

Many believe that the Rhode Island violation of probation laws are among the most strict and most unfair in the country. Each year countless defendants are sentenced to jail for a long period of time based on a case that may later get dismissed or even worse may not even get charged. If you are in the unfortunate position of being charged with a crime while you are on probation, it is imperative that you hire a defense attorney who can guide you though these most troubling times. The unfortunate reality is that you are looking at serious jail time, and what you do next will have a lasting impact on your life.

The Law Offices of Michael J. Zarrella has been helping clients with violation of probation charges for 20 years. Attorney Zarrella has a track record of success. Whether it is outright winning your violation or obtaining a favorable disposition, Michael Zarrella will work tirelessly in your effort to achieve a positive outcome.

Rhode Island Violations are very pro prosecution.

Rhode Island violation of probation laws do not offer the Constitutional protections that a normal criminal charge would. Unlike a criminal charge, violation of probation charges do not have all the protections that are afforded under either the United States and Rhode Island Constitutions. Some examples of Constitutional rights that a defendant does not have at a violation hearing are as follows:

  • no right to jury trial
  • no right to state proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt
  • the right to confronted witness is limited (based on the relaxation of the hearsay rules)
  • no right to the presumption of innocents
  • no right to discovery
  • The fact that these protections are not afforded during a revocation or violation hearing makes it very difficult for a defendant to win a violation hearing. Because of lack of rights and the low standard of proof, many people end up serving long prison sentences on cases where the underlying charge gets dismissed.

    What is a violation of probation in Rhode Island?

    A violation of the defendant's probation occurs when a condition of probation is broken. The basic condition of probation is to “keep the peace and be of good behavior”. This basically means do not commit any new crimes. In other cases a defendant may be charged with violation of probation in cases where he or she breaks a special condition of their probation, such failing to complete domestic violence classes, failure to perform community service or failing to participate in substance abuse rehabilitative or counseling programs. If the State believes the terms of probation have been broken then it will file a 32F (notice of violation of probation). If the defendant is found to be in violation of their probation, then the defendant can be sentenced up to the amount of suspended time the defendant has over his or her head. In cases in which there is a suspended sentence, but there is probation, deferred sentence or a filing, then the defendant can be made to serve up to the maximum penalty of the criminal charge that they are violatiing. However, the judge has complete discretion as to what sentence can be imposed. The judge may order the defendant to no jail, the maximum jail sentence or any number in between. That is why it is so important for you to have a defense lawyer that knows his way around the criminal courtroom.

    You need a tested Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer for your Probation Violation.

    The courts in Rhode Island are frequently unsympathetic to defendants who have been charged with a probation violation. Often defendants are held without bail, and have to fight the violation from being locked up in the ACI. You need a lawyer that will fight for you at your violation hearing and you need a lawyer who is not afraid to challenge the police and the state. This requires a lawyer with experience and devotion. Attorney Michael J. Zarrella is a zealous attorney who is completely committed to the best interests of his clients. Attorney Zarrella will scrutinize the state's cases and present a vigorous defense. Whether it is a hearing or a plea bargain, Attorney Zarrella will always look to get his clients the best possible outcome on their charges.