The Utah Legislative Auditor General’s Office issued a report Tuesday concerning discrepancies across the state in how parole and probation violations are handled. When a person is placed on probation for a criminal offense, the system may impose many terms and conditions that must be followed.
Probation, in many cases, can be an opportunity to avoid spending time behind bars upon a conviction for an offense, including a Utah felony. However, if authorities accuse a probationer of violating a term of the probation, incarceration becomes highly possible. A person accused of a probation violation does not have to fight the accusation alone in court—a criminal defense lawyer can provide representation in a probation violation setting.
State officials said Tuesday that many inconsistencies in how probation violations are handled have been detected across the state. There can be many players involved in a probation violation issue. The recent report issued from state officials says that, “We found that administrators, supervisors and agents have varying opinions and strategies regarding when to recommend offenders be sent to prison,” according to Deseret News.
Authorities say that discrepancies on how cases are handled can even be found within single districts of Utah.
The standards and rules that apply in a probation violation issue differ from other types of criminal proceedings. Maybe the most troubling aspect of the report is the finding that Utah ranks near the top of all states in the country for revocations of probation.
When probation is revoked, a person can face significant time behind bars. With the revocation rate high, it is important for probationers to consider seeking the assistance of legal counsel when allegations of a violation arise to help protect rights in court.
Source: Deseret News, “Audit: Standards for revoking parole, probation inconsistent across Utah,” McKenzie Romero, Sept. 17, 2013