07 Oct 23

Questions to Ask Your Brooklyn Criminal Attorney About Probation and Parole

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Last Updated on: 28th October 2023, 09:00 pm

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Questions to Ask Your Brooklyn Criminal Attorney About Probation and Parole

Getting arrested and facing criminal charges can be an incredibly stressful and confusing time. As you search for a Brooklyn criminal defense attorney to represent you, it’s important to ask the right questions during your initial consultation to understand how they will handle your case. Here are some key questions to discuss probation, parole, and other important issues:

What experience do you have handling probation and parole cases?

You’ll want to choose an attorney with extensive experience handling probation and parole cases in Brooklyn specifically. They should have represented many clients at violation hearings and negotiations with probation officers. Ask how many years they’ve practiced this type of law and what their success rate is – do clients usually avoid jail time? 1 2

What are common probation and parole violations you see?

There are many technical violations like missing curfew or failing a drug test. But also ask about more serious violations like new criminal charges. What violations have they seen alleged most often? Their experience with different types of violations will prepare them best to defend you. 1 3

What are the first steps you’ll take in my probation violation case?

After reviewing the allegations against you, they should investigate the facts, meet with your probation officer, and start building a defense strategy. Asking about their initial steps shows you how quickly and thoroughly they’ll start working for you. 2 4

Do you have relationships with any probation officers or prosecutors?

Having good working relationships with officers and prosecutors is so valuable. It facilitates open communication and increases the chance they’ll listen to your attorney’s arguments. See if they have any existing relationships to leverage.  2 5

What defense strategies do you use in probation violation hearings?

There are many creative and technical arguments an experienced attorney can make – like questioning the reliability of drug tests or proving you didn’t willfully violate terms. Asking about strategies gives you insight into the options they’ll pursue.  3 4

What are the most common outcomes you see for probation violations?

Possible outcomes include reinstatement with stricter terms, extensions of probation, or jail time. Ask what resolutions they typically achieve for clients based on the severity of violations. 1 4

What options do I have if my parole is violated?

The parole board has discretion, so an attorney’s advocacy can heavily influence the outcome. Good options to inquire about include reinstatement, parole with additional conditions, or parole to a treatment program. 3 5

How can you help reduce my probation or parole period?

Ask if early termination of probation or parole is possible if you comply strictly with all conditions for a period of time. Find out their success getting sentences reduced for compliant clients. 2 4

What information or documents do you need from me?

To build the strongest defense, they’ll need information like employment verification, character references, and evidence of rehabilitation. Find out early what evidence they need to start compiling a compelling case. 2 3

What are your fees and payment schedule?

The fees should be clearly explained, as well as when payments are due and options if you have financial difficulties. Get fee details in writing so there are no surprises down the road. 1 6

Can I speak with some of your past clients?

Speaking to past clients gives you an idea of what it will be like working with the attorney. Quality attorneys should be happy to provide references from clients with probation/parole cases like yours. 6

Will you be handling my case directly?

You want to know exactly who will be working on your case. How much direct interaction will you have with the lead attorney versus support staff? The attorney you meet with initially should be guiding your case. 6

Are you available on nights and weekends?

You need an attorney who will be available evenings and weekends if necessary. You don’t want to get sent to voicemail during a crisis, so find out how available they’ll be. 6

How quickly do you return calls and emails?

Responsiveness is key – you want to know your attorney will return messages within 24 hours or less. Quick communication means issues get addressed promptly, giving you peace of mind. 2 6

Will you fight for my freedom aggressively?

Make sure the attorney will pursue every legal avenue to keep you out of jail. You want someone who is passionate about protecting your freedom and rights. Ask how far they’re willing to go for clients. 1 6

Can I avoid jail time for my probation violation?

While it depends on your specific case, many probation violations don’t necessarily mean jail time. A skilled attorney’s advocacy can help you avoid incarceration. 2 4

What should I do if my probation officer contacts me?

Important advice – they may tell you not to speak and to refer the officer to your attorney. Or they may advise you to cooperate fully. Asking shows you’ll get expert guidance. 2

How can I improve my chances of avoiding jail time?

Ask what actions on your part can help, like obtaining character references, completing counseling, getting a job, or showing remorse. This shows the judge you’re committed to rehabilitation. 2 3

What information should I avoid sharing with my probation officer?

There may be certain information that could hurt your case if shared. See what types of statements your attorney recommends keeping private when meeting with your probation officer. 4

Will you help me with related civil issues like employment?

See if they can advise you on civil areas like dealing with employers and landlords. Having one lawyer handle both criminal and civil issues can be beneficial. 5

What are my rights in probation and parole proceedings?

You retain certain legal rights even on probation or parole. An attorney can inform you of your rights and ensure authorities don’t overstep bounds. 1 4

What can I expect at a probation violation hearing?

Understanding the hearing process will help you know what to expect. Ask them to walk through the typical format, participants, procedures, and timeline.  4

How can I prepare for my parole hearing?

Ask for tips like gathering evidence of rehabilitation, obtaining character references, and drafting a persuasive personal statement. Thorough preparation can really help your case. 3

Will you help me find employment or training programs?

Part of your probation or parole terms may involve finding work or completing vocational programs. Ask if they can point you to local resources to help satisfy these conditions.  5

What factors influence the parole board’s decision?

The attorney should explain factors like criminal history, disciplinary record, rehabilitation efforts, risk assessment tools, and more. Understanding these can help your chances. 3

How can I show remorse and take responsibility?

Expressing genuine remorse can help persuade the judge or parole board of your commitment to rehabilitation. Ask how to appropriately demonstrate this at your hearing. 4

What parole conditions might I face?

Possible parole conditions include drug testing, maintaining employment, curfews, travel restrictions, counseling, and more. Ask which you may face so you understand all the requirements. 5

How can I best reintegrate into society after incarceration?

Reintegrating and transitioning to normal life can be very difficult. Ask about local organizations and resources that can help with things like finding housing and employment. 5

Who makes the final decision about my probation or parole?

It’s important to understand who has the final say, whether it’s the judge, parole board, probation officer, etc. Ask who makes each decision so you know who holds the power. 3 4

Thoroughly discussing these key questions with prospective attorneys will help you make the best choice for your situation. Don’t leave anything unclear – you should feel confident you understand exactly how they’ll defend your rights. With an experienced Brooklyn criminal lawyer guiding you, you’ll be able to navigate probation and parole issues effectively