Criminal cases can be resolved in a variety of ways. If a case does not go to trial, it will be resolved by some sort of plea agreement, or diversion, or suspended imposition of sentence (SIS), or a complete dismissal. If a diversion or suspended imposition of sentence is granted, a contract is entered into between the defendant and the prosecutor, whereby each party agrees to do certain things.
The terms and conditions of the agreement are made clear to each party. If the conditions of the diversion or suspended imposition of sentence agreement are alleged to have been violated, the prosecutor can file a motion to revoke the diversion or SIS and bring the defendant back into court to answer the allegations.
If a person is found to have violated the terms and conditions, the court has the option of imposing a range of punishment. Or, it can just continue the person on diversion or the SIS, if the violations are not viewed to be serious enough to justify revocation. It is critical to have an experienced attorney with you at all stages of this process. The criminal justice system is complicated and many things that appear to be simple can have serious implications down the road.
Other cases are resolved differently. If a defendant enters a negotiated plea pursuant to a plea agreement, there will often be a required probationary period. The terms and conditions of probation will be made clear to each party.
Probation is the procedure whereby a defendant found guilty is released by the court after the imposition of a sentence (without imprisonment), subject to court-imposed conditions. Suspension of sentence is the procedure whereby a defendant admitting fault is released by the court without imposition of a sentence. Probations, diversions, and suspended imposition of sentences are taken seriously by the courts from which they originate. The court has the discretion to suspend the imposition of a sentence, release a person on probation, or impose a wide variety of other conditions (shock time, completion of various types of classes, community service, etc.). For felony cases in Kansas, there is a sentencing guidelines system that is used by courts, but its application and interpretation is complicated and varies greatly from case to case.
If probation is revoked in a case, the court has a variety of options. It can reinstate the original sentence, or it can impose a lesser sentence. It often happens that probation violations originate from probation officers notifying the prosecutor that a defendant has not complied in some way. A few of the most common allegations are one or more of the following: failure to report, complete required classes, pay court costs or fines, some new criminal charge being filed against the person, or some other issue arising that is viewed as a breach of the original probation agreement.
Going to court for a probation violation is a serious matter. Having the right kind of advocacy and representation can make all the difference between getting a second chance from the court, or getting a far less favorable outcome. If you or someone you know has been accused of violating a probation, diversion, or suspended imposition of sentence, please call us to discuss your options.
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