What Happens If You Get a Probation Violation In Minnesota?
Thinking you might have violated your probation? Your next steps can make or break the outcome of your Minnesota probation violation.
Understanding the MN probation violation process can help protect your rights and secure the best outcome possible. In MN, probation violation consequences are serious. If you think you may have violated your probation, you must act quickly.
The more you follow the MN probation violation process, the better your chances of earning a fair and just outcome.
Minnesota Probation Violation Process: How it Works
Let’s walk through probation violations in MN together, starting with the report, court-issued warrant or summons, and probation violation hearings.
How Do Probation Violations in Minnesota Start?
Most probation violations start when your probation officer files a probation violation report. For this report to establish probable cause, it must contain:
- Factual allegations. Hearsay is only accepted if it later points to admissible evidence.
- Evidence of one or more violations of your probation terms.
Anonymous reports are not accepted into probation violation hearings in MN. The Court must be able to identify the witness to accept it into evidence during a contested hearing (Morrissey Hearing)
Probation Violation MN Proceedings: Court-Ordered Summons or Warrant
If the report is accepted, a prosecutor, or your probation officer, will request a court-issued warrant or summons to address the violation.
In Minnesota, one of the most important parts of the process is that you should be issued a probation violation summons to appear at the Court on a specific date and time, rather than a warrant unless your MN probation violation falls into certain categories.
You should only be issued a warrant if the Court believes it’s necessary to secure your attendance or if they have evidence proving a warrant may prevent harm to yourself or others. Alleged facts in the report should establish this to the Court before issuing a warrant. However, some Courts will still issue a warrant without the facts. To avoid having going into custody and waiting days to appear before a judge, your attorney can file a Motion to quash the warrant and set the case for a MN probation violation hearing.
Probation Violation Hearing in MN: First Appearance
Before any further probation violation hearings in MN, the Court must conduct what we call the first appearance. Here, the judge will inform you of your rights, including but not limited to:
- The right to counsel.
- The right to a hearing (known as the Morrissey Hearing).
- The right to discovery.
- The right to offer evidence, including subpoenaing witnesses.
- The right to present mitigating circumstances.
After the first appearance, the Court can decide whether to release you before the next hearing. Defendants are often forced into an admission to get an offer. Never accept anything before obtaining legal advice.
Probation Violation Hearing in MN: Morrissey Hearing
During your Morrissey Hearing, you and your defense attorney have the opportunity to argue that the probation violation did not occur or there were mitigating circumstances behind it.
The State is tasked to prove whether or not the violation occurred. Unlike a criminal trial, the State does not need to prove the violation occurred beyond a reasonable doubt — they only need to find clear and convincing evidence it did.
Do You Need a Minnesota Probation Violation Attorney?
Minnesota probation violation consequences are serious. In some cases, your probation period can be extended — or you can even be sentenced to prison.
Working with many individuals with probation violations, I’ve learned that it all comes down to how well you understand, respond to, and defend your case. Even if you did violate your probation, your next few steps can drastically change the outcome of your MN probation violation case. As your attorney, I can negotiate an outcome or determine whether the best answer is an MN probation violation hearing and then represent you zealously at the MN probation violation hearing.
Your chances lie in working with a defense attorney who knows exactly how to fight back. I’m here to get you the best deal possible and defend your constitutional rights as a fellow Minnesota community member. Schedule a free consultation today, and I’ll start making a plan to support and defend your case with power.