Federal Probation and Supervised Release Violations
In federal court, the terms “probation” and “supervised” release are often used interchangeably. Under either sentence, you are required to comply with certain conditions, and are supervised by the U.S. District Court Probation Department.
What happens if I am accused of violating the terms of my supervised release?
If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation or supervised release, the court will hold a hearing. The probation department and U.S. Attorney’s Office can present evidence and witnesses to show that you violated your probation. You can present evidence and witnesses, and can testify on your own behalf, if you so choose. However, you should discuss the strategy with a federal defense attorney prior to making a decision on how to contest the allegations.
At the conclusion of the hearing, if the judge finds that you have violated the terms of your probation, he or she can send you to prison. Or the judge may decide to add conditions to your probation, or extend the length of your supervised release.
Can I be violated for committing a new crime, even if I haven’t been charged in court?
The short answer is yes. One of the standard conditions of supervised release is that you not commit a new crime. If your probation officer has evidence suggesting that you committed a new crime, he or she can ask the court to find you in violation. This is true even if you have not been indicted for that new crime.
The judge will analyze the elements of the alleged new crime, and decide whether the government has presented sufficient evidence to conclude that you likely committed that crime.
A judge has to find only that it is “more likely than not” that you committed a new crime in order to revoke your supervised release and send you to prison. According to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3563(a)(1) and 3583(d), a mandatory condition of probation and supervised release is that the defendant not commit another federal, state, or local crime. The probation or supervised release can be revoked whether or not the defendant has been the subject of a separate federal, state, or local prosecution for such conduct.
If you or a loved one is facing allegations of violated probation or supervised release in federal court, our federal defense attorneys can help. Call us at (781) 797-0555 for a free phone consultation today.
United States v. Garcia-Cartaqena, 953 F.3d 14, 15 (1st Cir. 2020)
United States v. Frederickson, 988 F.3d 76, 85 (1st Cir. 2021)