A new probation law goes into effect this year that will limit judge’s ability to create long sentences for “technical” probation violations.
The New Law
A person who commits a technical probation violation may only be sentenced up to 30 days in jail. Following the jail sentence the probation may return to probation.
Multiple probation violations that occur at the same time will be treated as if they are just one violation.
This jail term limit does not apply after a probation has committed 3 or more technical violations.
The 30 day period could be extended up to 90 days where a person has been ordered to attend a treatment program and a placement in the program is not yet available. The extension is only up to 90 days, however.
The 30 day period for technical violations does not apply to person on probation for stalking, aggravated stalking, or domestic violence.
There is no jail credit for jail time on technical probation violations.
What is a Technical Probation Violation?
A technical violation may be something like failure to perform community service, pay a fine, or miss a drug test.
The new law specifies what will not be considered a technical violation. A violation of a no-contact order and consumption of alcohol (in felony OWI cases) will not be considered technical violations.
Picking up a new criminal charge is not a technical violation.
The sentencing court is always able to revoke probation for a technical violation. MCL 771.4b
What is Probation?
Probation is leniency from the judge following a conviction. The leniency allows a person to stay out of jail or perform a shorter jail sentence than the maximum. A person must follow rules requirements set by the judge while on probation. Such requirements can include alcohol testing and education classes in DUI cases or no-contact orders in domestic assault cases.
Other common requirements of probation are paying fines and costs, community service, and staying out of trouble.
A person who violates probation can have probation revoked and be sent to serve the maximum jail time or any number of days.
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Sam Bernstein is a criminal defense lawyer in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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