What to Know About a New Mexico Probation Revocation Hearing
When defendants are accused of violating probation, they are subject to a motion to revoke probation, and face serving jail or prison sentences. Since probationers must obey all laws and follow their conditions of probation, even minor penalties can result in a re-arrest and subsequent probation revocation and incarceration.
However, you do have the right to fight your probation revocation in New Mexico. Speak with a New Mexico probation violation attorney to help you devise a case strategy and represent you.
What Is a Probation Revocation Hearing?
A probation revocation hearing is a court proceeding, where the prosecution and/or the probation officer accuse you of violating your conditions of probation. You do have guaranteed rights at the opportunity to defend yourself against the allegations and evidence against you.
What Are Your Rights When Accused of Violating Probation?
When facing a probation revocation, you DO HAVE RIGHTS:
- You have the right to be represented by an attorney and to defend yourself;
- You have the right to timely hearings;
- You have the right to ensure that the state follows the rules imposed by the courts;
- You have the right to notice of the allegations against you;
- You have the right to discovery;
- You have the right to challenge the evidence constitutionally;
- You have the right to notice of the witnesses against you;
- You have the right to cross-examine the witnesses against you;
- You have the right to present a defense or offer evidence in mitigation
The Prosecutor Holds the Burden of Proof
During the probation violation hearing, the district attorney assigned to your case must prove to the court to a “Reasonable Certainty” that you Willfully violated the terms and conditions of your probation. This requirement is lower than at a jury trial, which means that the prosecutor’s job is less arduous.
When explaining “Reasonable Certainty” in probation revocation hearings, New Mexico Courts have defined “Reasonable Certainty” as, “ . . . evidence that a reasonable and impartial mind would be inclined to conclude that the defendant has violated the terms of probation.”
This is important because the state MUST PROVE THE VIOLATION. YOU DO NOT have to prove that you did not do it. You can challenge the evidence both constitutionally and through cross-examination.
Timeline of Probation Revocation Hearings
Depending on whether your case is in the district or magistrate court, there are either very exact deadlines or more relaxed mandates. District Court has precise deadlines defining when the probation, District Attorney and Court MUST conduct specific actions. Failure by the probation officer or district attorney tom meet their deadlines could be beneficial in defending your case.
Assuming that all previously mandated deadlines regarding Notice of Arrest, filing of a probation violation report by the probation officer, filing of a motion to revoke probation, the court will schedule an Initial Hearing within thirty (30) days of the filing of the motion to revoke probation.
Then an adjudicatory hearing or merits hearing is scheduled to commence within sixty (60) days of your initial hearing. Prior to that hearing both parties must provide discovery, exchange witness and exhibit lists no later than ten (10) days per Rule 5-805.
At the adjudicatory hearing, the state will present their witnesses, and the defendant will have the right to cross-examine the witnesses against him or her. The defendant may also present witnesses and evidence. The judge will then decide if the state has proven the case. Having an attorney to represent you throughout the entire process is critical to defending the pending accusations. Make sure that you obey all civil rules and laws in between and after these hearings as not to create new legal issues.
Possible Outcomes of a New Mexico Probation Revocation Hearing
If the court finds that you violated probation, then pursuant to NMSA § 31-21-15, the court may order the continuation of the original probation sentence or revoke it altogether. He or she may also impose additional probation conditions or require you to serve your suspended sentence in jail. Subject to exceptions for DWI and Domestic Violence cases, if you are remanded to prison or jail, the judge will give you credit for time served on probation.
How to Handle a Probation Violation in New Mexico
The most practical step to take when facing a probation violation is hiring an experienced New Mexico criminal defense lawyer with a reputation for delivering on case results. We will fight for your freedom and liberties at every critical point of your case.
If you or a family member were arrested on a probation violation, legal guidance will help you understand your rights. Grano Law Offices, P.C. will stand by your side and argue your case before a judge and prosecutor during a New Mexico probation revocation hearing.
Free Consultation with a New Mexico Probation Violation Attorney
Request a Free Case Strategy Session with Grano Law Offices, P.C. by calling us at (505) 426-8711 or messaging me privately here. We return all messages within 24 (twenty-four) business hours and offer remote meetings via secure video chat, text messaging, and telephone.