People who are on probation frequently have limited privacy rights. Unlike most other people in this country, they can be subject to searches of their homes, vehicles, and bodies without a search warrant or probable cause. This means probationers are at particular risk when they walk into a courtroom charged with either a new crime or a probation violation.
Probation revocation hearings are conducted with slightly different rules of evidence from criminal trials. Even more significantly, the State’s burden of proof is reduced from the very high “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” of criminal trials to a much less difficult “Preponderance of the Evidence” standard. Without the assistance of an experienced attorney in a probation revocation case, defendants face a very difficult situation with the chance of years behind bars if they are not successful in arguing their innocence.