If a criminal defendant in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is sentenced to probation or accepts a plea deal with probation then the accused will be required to abide by the conditions and rules of the probation. The criminal defendant who is on probation agrees to keep the peace and be of good behavior. An accused who is on probation is in a period of Great risk! If a criminal defendant violates his or her probation by being arrested for a new criminal charge then the accused may be held in Jail at the ACI as a violator of probation. After ten to 14 calendar days a person has the right to a hearing on the merits. This is called a probation violation hearing.
A person who is facing a probation violation hearing should retain a Rhode Island Criminal law attorney or if eligible should Contact the Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender.
If a criminal accused meets the eligibility requirements, he or she may be appointed a free criminal defense lawyer provided by the Public Defender’s office. At the violation of probation testimonial hearing, the State prosecutor need only convince the Justice of the District or Superior Court in a manner that the justice believes that the accused violated the conditions of probation by a fair preponderance of the evidence.
Also the RI criminal defendant will be charged for the new criminal offense as a separate charge from the accusations of violating probation. There is a strong possibility that if a criminal accused in RI is violated for his or her probation that the probation which was originally not a conviction will now turn into a conviction. At the violation hearing the attorney general or assistant attorney general has the leverage and absolute power to coerce a plea deal. These plea deals, under these circumstances, are rarely knowing, voluntary and fair. This is as a result of the fact that it is extremely easy for overzealous prosecutors to prove a probation violation and the prosecutor can threaten additional jail time as a result of the probation violation.
A probationary period is a time of great risk for a defendant and a defendant must be careful to stay out of trouble!
A person must be even more vigilant if there is a no contact order, order protection from Abuse from The Rhode Island Family Court or restraining order in effect. A violation of a no contact order or a restraining order is a violation of probation.
A person with a suspended or stayed sentence faces the most potential risk regarding violation of probation in RI. As a result of a probation violation, A person with a suspended sentence could be ordered to serve the remainder of the suspended sentence at the adult correctional institution (ACI)
For Example, a person with a probation sentence may get themselves deeper into trouble when they resume communications and contact with their wife or girlfriend despite a no contact order is in effect. If there is an argument or allegations of domestic assault or abuse, the police may arrest the person and hold him/her at the aci as a probation violator as well as new charges for domestic assault and violation of a no contact order or restraining order.
A person can also be violated for his probation for various infractions that may not be criminal acts but that violate the conditions of probation such as not keeping probation informed of new addresses, leaving the state without permission, not paying court costs or restitution, not properly reporting to the probation officer, etc. These infractions are typically considered technical violations of probation. When a person is under probation in Rhode Island he or she is essentially is in a contract with the state to keep the peace, be of good behavior and comply with the conditions and rules of probation.