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The Law Office of Stephen W. Wolf, LLC

26777 Lorain Road Suite 709

North Olmsted, Ohio  44070


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Ohio Probation Violation

Fighting a probation violation requires an intense, aggressive defense!

Call now:  440-777-1177


How does a probation violation work?

Felony versus Misdemeanor violation

In some counties, a felony probation violation results in an arrest and the scheduling of a probation violation hearing.  This will be done in two or three weeks.  Yes, you sit in the county jail two or three weeks before you have the right to be heard on an unproven probation violation.

Some municipal courts on first offense

Some probation departments allow you to admit a first offense probation violation.  If you admit, you will have to sign a form and consent to significant additions to your probation.  These might include a year extension to your probation, signification amounts of community service, a "fee" which looks to all the world like a "fine".  There might be many other requirements.

Unfortunately, the poor will often take this punishment regardless of whether the violation is valid or not.

  • They cannot afford an attorney and have no faith in public defenders

  • For the working poor, they cannot afford to take time off work

  • They have no way to get to the court on numerous dates, especially in winter

  • They are afraid of probation, often with good reason

  • They are afraid of the judge, often with good reason

  • They have kids that are not allowed in court and they cannot afford to have someone watch them

  • ... the list goes on

You have due process rights

When you violate probation, you have due process rights.  This means you have the right to a hearing.  They cannot sentence you before that hearing, on this or any prior charge.

That being said, in some counties, you are jailed on a probation violation and left to rot for weeks.

First hearing -- the arraignment

The first court appearance is most municipal courts will be for arraignment.  You can admit or deny the offense.  If you admit, you will normally be sentenced right then and there.  If you deny, you will be given a date for a full hearing.  You go home.

For felonies your often sit in jail for weeks.

Second hearing -- the "full" hearing

You come back for the full hearing.  This is a trial.  This isn't a trial.

It is a trial because people are sworn in, testimony is given and the judge makes a decision.

It is not a trial because the judge take much more active role in the process.  The judge often becomes the prosecutor.  (Bet you wished you hired an attorney.  Call now:  440-777-1177.)  Evidence gets in that won't normally get in during this hearing.  Even evidence that shouldn't come in, might, if you don't object.  (Bet you wished you hired an attorney.  Call now:  440-777-1177.)

In the end, the judge will chose who to believe.

An appeal to a higher court is sometimes necessary.

Call now:  440-777-1177


What do you, as my attorney, need from me?

I hope by this time you've come to the conclusion you need a competent attorney to defend you.

 What do I need?

  • I need a full history of how you came to be on probation.

  • I need your full criminal and traffic violation history, from the day you were born.

  • I need everything you might have from your sentencing.

  • I need everything you might have from your probation meetings.

  • I need everything you might have from your probation mandated classes.

  • I need good things you are doing.

  • I need letters from family, friends, religious, employers, co-workers and anyone else who can tell the judge you are not the person they think you are.

Do not claim.  Let me say that louder.  DO NOT CLAIM!  You prove.  If you are in college, you should be able to prove that with documents from the college.  If you are active in church, a church leader should write a letter, or, better, come to the hearing.

We will talk more about this in my office.


Why should I hire you?

  • While I don't have a degree in electrical engineering, I did attend over three years of electrical engineering training at the Ohio State University before realizing how much I did NOT want to be an engineer.  This helps dramatically when the issue is an interlock violation or based on some other form of quasi-scientific test.

  • I have thirty-two years experience with as a police officer and have an excellent understanding of these problems from that perspective.

  • I've had extensive and in-depth training on alcohol measurement, including being able to work on and maintain such devices down to the component level.

  • While I do not have a degree in a software-related field, I own a company that writes and sells software (though I am not actively writing or selling at this time).  Further, in my other employment, I was responsible for significant software-related issues.  I can write computer code down the machine code/assembler level.  This is important when there is alcohol detection or a botched record.

In addition:

  • Unless there is some horrible problem, you will only work with me.  I will not off-load you to some minion.

  • I answer my phone.  If I am busy, I will return your call at the first opportunity.  I do not have a secretary to take and misinterpret your message.  I want your words in my voicemail so I understand what is happening.

  • I care.

And finally:

  • I have a conviction that destroying the lives of defendants on devices that are shown again and again to be unreliable is improper.  That makes me angry.

Can you beat my probation violation?

Until you call, I can't tell.  Even then, it will be the decision of the judge, not me.  If your facts show that there are problems with the unit, how it was installed, how it was repaired and your history with the unit, maybe I can help you.

Call now:  440-777-1177


An example of a judicial issue in a probation violation

On the way to work you stop and get coffee.  You go back to your car and blow into the interlock.  The interlock won't let you start your car.  You try again and it starts.  You go to work.

You receive notice of a probation violation based on the above events.

You tell the judge that it was you that blew into the machine when you started the car at home, when the unit says you had alcohol on your breath at the coffee shop and a minute or two later, when the device says you did not have alcohol on your breath.

The judge tells you he or she believes that halfway to work and while sober you pulled in to get coffee, got coffee, got drunk, failed the first test and then had someone else blow into the interlock in order to continue.

Bet you wish you had hired an attorney.

Call now:  440-777-1177


Another probation violation issue

The interlock company spokesperson who will testify against you is a person who may have never graduated from high school, let alone have some understanding of electrical engineering, electronic engineering, computer science, software engineering, chemistry, physiology or anything else that might help him or her be competent regarding the interlock.

In the above case, the interlock employee testifies, throwing up his or her arms, saying, "Someone else must have blown into the machine!"

If the judge buys into that fantasy, unsupported by any evidence, you are sunk.

Bet you wish you had hired an attorney.

Call now:  440-777-1177


Hardware and software issues

You tell the judge that the device was back twice.  Once they changed the software.  The second time they worked on the wiring.  This last time was a few days before you were violated.

The judge asks, "Did it work after you left the repair shop?"  You reply, "Yes".  The judge says, "Then the machine was fixed and working!"

Bet you wish you had hired an attorney.

Call now:  440-777-1177