During almost every misdemeanor plea a Judge will tell a Defendant that they cannot get arrested during the period of probation.  If a person is arrested while on probation, the Judge will likely issue a warrant for the Defendant for violating this probation.  The Defendant will need to not only defend themselves for the new arrest but also (and more urgently) he or she will need to defend themselves for the probation violation as well.

It is often the decisions that the Defendant makes in the days right after the new arrest that make a huge difference in the result.

Although it may sound obvious what the Judge considers an arrest, it is often a common source of confusion.  We make a point to advise people that if they are on probation and there has been an incident which required police involvement, our judges in Jefferson County are going to begin the Probation Violation process.  This process will often begin regardless of whether handcuffs were actually placed on the Defendant.

In the event that a new arrest occurs, the Court will quickly learn about it through a monitoring system called REJIS.  In many cases, the Court will then issue a “No Bond” warrant for the Defendant.  It is during this period that the Defendant needs to be on the ball and getting counsel secured.  Often counsel can see the Judge either prior to the Defendant being picked up on the “No Bond” warrant and try to secure a bond (and sometimes recall the warrant).

Counsel may also organize a turn-in, where Counsel walks the Defendant to the jail and then speaks to the Judge immediately to work out a bond.

In the event a Defendant chooses to allow the violation and warrant to linger, the Defendant is at risk to be picked up at a time when the Court is closed and the Judges are nowhere to be found (5:01 on a Friday is always a terrible time to be arrested).  Even worse if the Defendant fails to secure Counsel prior to the arrest, the Defendant will be forced to sit in jail.

Making bond is only half the battle.  The Defendant must be prepared to address any issues which have been the underlying cause of multiple arrests.  Often, the Defendant’s performance while out on bond is critical to a successful continuance on probation.

If you need legal counsel or have a question about a situation that you are in please contact Steve Vighi at 636-797-2601.