So you were placed on probation for a misdemeanor of a DUI offense for example. You had to move away from your original jurisdiction because of a job or a family matter, but you didn't notify probation or didn't think it was a matter to update. Now, you have an absconder for probation. What does it mean, and is it bad?
Absconding probation essentially means that the court does not know your whereabouts through probation, usually because you have moved out of the jurisdiction, state, or even the country because:
- you are convicted of a crime and;
- you head out without notifying your probation officer that is overseeing your program time, especially without permission.
If you are found of absconding your probation, it means you are violating your probation. This can result in a probation violation hearing and a possible probation revocation. If you are an absconder due to leaving out of a county, it is probably because:
- you are unaware you cannot do so
- you are in need of job that relies on you leaving the jurisdiction
- you are forced to in order to take care of a family member, or;
- you are purposely escaping the judicial process or law enforcement. Note that a person can abscond probation for both a misdemeanor and a felony.
You can also abscond either parole supervision or probation. If you do abscond, criminal law in the state of California say that the court will take a certain amount of time to try and locate the person who is absconding, around 30 days. The court may try to find your whereabouts by:
- contacting your family, friends, and any other contacts known by the court or your probation officer,
- contacting your criminal defense attorney,
- contacting your landlord, neighbors, or employer,
- checking county jails to see if you are in custody, and/or
mailing you a letter to the last known address requesting an immediate face-to-face meeting
Once being placed on probation, you are required to follow any conditions that are enforced by the judge. This can include:
- submitting to random drug tests,
- regular meetings with your probation officer/supervising officer or the court, and/or
- performing community service hours.
During the hearing, a prosecutor has the burden of showing that you violated a term or condition of your probation. If you did violate your probation, your defense lawyer can highlight any mitigating factors regarding the violation.
For example, your defense counsel might highlight that you absconded because of a job or the care of a loved one as opposed to a direct attempt to avoid the court.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge can take any of the following actions:
- reinstate your probation with the original terms and conditions that the court imposed,
- modify the conditions of your probation with new, stricter terms, or
- revoke your probation and place you in custody to complete your jail time or prison sentence.6
If you are guilty of absconding or violating a probation term, you should contact a criminal defense attorney for legal advice. The same holds true if you committed a parole violation by not adhering to a condition of parole.
A defense lawyer can help in these cases by:
- contacting your parole officer or probation officer to try and avoid a revocation hearing,
- representing you at a probation violation hearing, and
- working to help you avoid jail or prison time if you did commit a probation or parole violation.
If you committed a new crime while absconding probation (for example, a new felony), a criminal lawyer can represent you on any new charges that form the basis of a criminal case.
To learn more about absconding, please visit here: Section 2731 - Absconders from California, Cal. Code Regs. tit. 15 § 2731 | Casetext Search + Citator