If you failed to follow a condition of probation, you will receive a notice to appear for an Order to Show Cause hearing. This article will help you know what to expect, and what to do in Utah.
Order to Show Cause: What to Expect
You will will have certain conditions you will need to comply with as a result of probation. You almost always will have to pay a fine, and not violate any further laws. Depending on the type of conviction, you may need to get an evaluation for drug, alcohol or domestic violence treatment. This is not an exhaustive list, and you should refer to your probation agreement for further requirements.
After your conviction, you were, at some point, sentenced to do certain things. You may have heard the judge say that you were being sentenced to pay $1500 and serve 180 days in jail. You may have also heard the judge say that he is suspending all but $600 dollars (for example) and all 180 days in jail. What this means is that as long as you were successful on probation, you would not have to serve any jail time and would not have to pay more than $600.
If you did not pay your monthly fine payments, or had another criminal charge brought against you, you are now at risk for having to pay the full fine and up to 180 days in jail as per your sentencing. When you go to your hearing, you should expect the judge to want to hear a good reason for your violation.
Violations of Your Probation: What to do
At an order to show cause hearing, the court will have told you what sections of your probation they believe were violated. Before you go into court, you’ll want to make sure that you have gathered any evidence you may have, to refute any claim that you violated probation. If you paid your fine, but they claim you did not, bring proof of payment. If you did treatment, but they claim you did not, get a certificate from your provider.
What do you do if you really didn’t complete a part of your probation? My best advice is to consider why. You’ll have an opportunity to explain yourself at the hearing. Now is the time to talk about what has been going on in your life, the efforts you’ve made, and the successes you’ve had. You need to do so convincingly, with as little extraneous detail as possible.
You should consult with us before you attend any order to show cause hearing. With competent representation, you can often have your probation extended without having to go to jail. Sometimes, you may be able to avoid any negative repercussions, depending on circumstance.
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