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Probation and extended supervision revocation. What is it? Can I fight it?

When an offender fails to comply with his probation or extended supervision rules he risks being revoked from his probation and being sent to jail/prison.

The first step a probation agent takes for a revocation is placing the offender on a “probation hold.”  A probation hold is initiated when the agent believes the offender violated a rule/rules of his supervision.  Typically during a hold the offender is held in a county jail.

After a few days the agent comes to visit the offender to interview him about what happened.  In Wisconsin, the offender is required to give a statement to his agent.   That statement cannot be used against the offender if a criminal action is initiated based on the same set of facts.  Why?  It’s a compelled statement.  The agent isn’t required to read the offender his Miranda Warnings.

Offenders are often frustrated when the probation agent doesn’t come to visit them immediately.  Unfortunately, the agent need not immediately talk to the offender.  The agent must meet with the offender to investigate a violation within a “reasonable amount of time.”  If the offender has been the subject of an Order to Detain, the Department of Corrections advises its officers they should interview offenders within 3 days of being taken into custody.  That 3 days can be extended an additional 3 working days by a supervisor.  The Regional Chief may extend for an additional 5 working days.  If further extension is necessary, a DOC administrator may approve “any additional time.”

After the agent is finished investigating the alleged rule violations he decides whether to revoke the offender.  If the agent decides to revoke the offender, the offender must be notified within 2 working days of the violations he’s facing and the rights he has at a hearing.  If the decision is not made to revoke, the offender is released.

If requested, a preliminary hearing shall be held within 15 days of the date of detention.  In special circumstances that hearing can be pushed out an additional 5 days.  The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine 1) whether there is probable cause to believe that the offender violated the terms of supervision and 2) whether the offender should remain in custody pending the final revocation hearing.  Most often the preliminary hearing is waived.  It is rarely won, is often based on hearsay, and usually does not involve outside witnesses.

The final hearing must begin within 50 calendar days of the date of detention “unless the hearing has been postponed for cause.”  Under special circumstances an additional 10 calendar day extension can be granted.  If these timeframes are violated the Sheriff may release the offender with notice.

At the final hearing the agent must be prepared to prove the offender committed the alleged violations, that the conduct constitutes a violation of the rules or conditions of supervision, and the violations are sufficiently serious to require revocation according to legal standards.  If the agent succeeds at the final hearing, the offender is revoked.  If the offender is well-defended and shows that the agent failed in his duties, the offender is not revoked.

Revocation matters can be incredibly complex and are subject to confusing timeframes and rules.  Attorney Meyer understands the complexities.  You can fight revocation proceedings and you should do it with a skilled criminal defense attorney at your side.  Attorney Meyer has won revocation cases and kept his clients out of prison.   If you or a loved one is facing a revocation don’t waste any time – revocations move quickly.   Contact Attorney Meyer immediately.