Federal Supervised Release Violations
The United States Code provides for a few outcomes when someone is convicted of a Federal crime and sentenced. Supervised release is one such option as outlined in 18 USC § 3583. Under supervised release, the convicted person will be required to submit to a number of requirements. Some of these include remaining clean of drugs and attending classes or group meetings. The exact requirements are case-by-case; essentially, the person convicted will face 13 standard conditions as well as case-specific conditions. These conditions will be provided in written form by your probation officer who will ensure that you understand what is expected of you. You should also discuss these with your attorney.
Does Supervised Release Differ from Probation and How?
Yes. Supervised release differs from probation in that supervised release is intended as an alternate to incarceration in a prison. Probation is part of a combined approach. The person convicted may be sentenced to both prison and a term of probation whereas the person on supervised release will serve his sentence outside, perhaps at a halfway house or similar arrangement.
What Constitutes Federal Supervised Release Violations?
There are three categories of violations. These are
- Grade C Violation – Grade C Supervised Release violations occur when you either
- a) fail to adhere to one of the conditions of your release or
- b) break a law which would carry a maximum sentence less than one year.
Generally, the latter occurs when someone on Federally supervised release gets arrested on a minor charge.
- Grade B Violation – If a person on supervised release is arrested on new charges and would receive a sentence exceeding one year (if convicted), it is a Grade B violation.
- Grade A Violation–Conduct would result in more than a one-year sentence and said conduct involves a controlled substance, firearms, or violence. Alternately, if a new crime has been committed which is punishable by a term of more than 20 years.
What are the Consequences of a FederallySupervised Release Violation?
In the case of Grade A and Grade B supervised release violations, the probation officer MUST report to the judge who presided over your case. He will then schedule a hearing.
If you have violated a Grade C, you may be able to prevent a hearing. This is accomplished by getting in touch immediately with your attorney. He can then discuss the matter with your probation officer and potentially find a solution. If the violation is simply one in which you have failed to adhere to the conditions of supervised release, the possibility of keeping the matter out of the judge’s hands is good. However, if a minor crime has been committed, you may also be able to approach the judge with a recommendation. The judge can even alter the terms of your Federally supervised release if it will help you better abide by the terms.
Especially when you have committed a serious crime or a violation involving drugs, weapons, or violence (Grade A or B), you need your attorney. The judge can resentence you according to any sentence which you originally faced before getting supervised release. You will also face the new charges for the crime committed. The penalties under supervised release violations are very unique to each situation and are rendered according to the USSC guidelines. Your attorney will need to explain these to you.
What Are Defenses to Federal Supervised Release Violations?
The defenses to a federally supervised release violation are very different from those when facing original charges. Rather than facing a court and jury, when a violation occurs, you will face only the judge. It will be a hearing and the judge decides what happens. Thus, the situation is rather different and less adversarial than in the case of a trial.
In the event of a supervised release violation, your attorney will approach the matter very differently and so should you. Your attorney will carefully consider the elements of your case and guide you accordingly. Pay close attention to what he tells you and do not deviate from that. His goal will be to get the judge on your side so that the judge will want to help you. Let him help you. If the judge believes you are anything but contrite, he can render a judgement that will be harsh. Appeals are rare.
Facing a Federal Supervised Release Violations? Call Criminal Defense Attorney Jason Korner Now!
If you have violated the terms of your Federal supervised release program, you need to speak with your attorney, Jason A Korner immediately. He will guide you through the process of preparing for your hearing and answer all your questions. If you are facing new charges, he will begin working on a defense strategy well before your hearing to determine if there is any way of getting the new charges eliminated. If the violation is because of these new charges, getting them gone is the first step to retaining your freedom, but time is precious so call now…