Probation Violations in Oregon

Probation violations (also called PVs) in Oregon start when a Defendant (or “probationer”) who has previously been placed on probation is accused of violating the terms of probation. Probation is essentially a form of supervision or monitoring of the probationer in the community and an alternative to incarceration (i.e. jail or prison). When a probationer is accused of violating the terms of supervision or monitoring, the local District Attorney’s office typically files a Motion to Revoke Probation, requests a warrant for the probationer’s arrest, and requests sanctions of the probationer.

Probation violations can be as serious as criminal charges. Penalties include incarceration (i.e. jail or prison), community work service, electronic monitoring, house arrest, UAs (urinalysis testing for drugs/alcohol), fines, and extensions of probation (e.g. a longer term of even more probation).

One of the most concerning aspects of probation violations is that the arrest warrant for a probation violation often carries a “no bail” warrant. This means that– once a probationer is arrested on the warrant– no amount of money can bail the defendant out of jail. The probationer must be brought before a magistrate during the first 36 hours of custody, excluding holidays, Saturdays and Sundays, and a probation violation hearing must be held within 14 calendar days, unless good cause is shown.

Another concerning aspect of a probation violation is that the penalties can often be just as serious as the penalties for conviction of a crime, but the standard of proof is much lower, the rules of evidence are more relaxed, and there is no right to a jury trial. For example, in the case of a Defendant charged with Assault in the Fourth Degree, the Defendant has the right to a jury trial in front of six jurors, and the government must prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if the Defendant (aka “probationer”) has been placed on probation for Assault in the Fourth Degree, and is accused of a probation violation, the probationer only has a right to a hearing before a judge and the standard of proof is “preponderance of evidence” (a much lower standard of proof, typically used in civil cases).

If you have been accused of a probation violation or are at risk for a Motion to Revoke Probation due to something you did– or something that you were required to do but failed to do– contact an attorney right away. As discussed above, in many ways probation violations are more serious than new criminal charges.

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