Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

My friend was on probation for first time felony meth sales. He crossed state lines and was arrested for violating probation recently. His PD is worthless, I offered him cash to get a real lawyer but he declined. His PD is saying the probation department refuses to take him on probation again and his only choice is to take 16 months in state prison. His PD warned him that if he refuses the deal he can sit in county jail for 3 years waiting for trail, murderers go to trial in one year so how can this take so long? Somehow this seems like a raw deal and just a way to avoid doing real work. Is this normal for someone to get 16 months for violating probation by leaving the state?

Asked on 9/29/09, 12:03 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Deirdre O'Connor Law Offices of Deirdre O'Connor
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What he's likely on a probation violation depends on how he violated probation - was it by crossing state lines without permission of does the PO have a long list of complaints. It sounds like there might be more to it if the PO is adamant about him going to prison. The court will ultimately decide what he's inclined to give for a probation vioation. Of course, the judge will consider what probation has to say, but there are other factors which could convince the court to give probation another try. How long was he on probation? Was he doing everything else he was instructed to do? Any contraband on him at the time of his arrest? Was he working? What else is going on in his life?

The PD should be looking at things like this to determine if the PO's prison recommendation is something that the judge should or will follow.

By the way, he's not going to go to trial for a probation violation; he's going to have a hearing in front of the judge. I can't imagine why it would take more than a month or two to set the hearing. He's entitled to a hearing and he's entitled to it within a reasonable time.

Just so you know,16 months is the least amount of prison time he can get; the only way he can do better is if the judge is willing to reinstate probation. If the judge has clearly made up his mind about prison, your friend may want to take the 16 months.

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9/29/09, 4:14 am

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