Admittedly a violation of probation is a difficult matter to handle. Unlike the underlying criminal case, the violator and/or the attorney has little leverage. Once a person is placed on probation and violates that probation, the judge holds most of the power and can technically sentence the violator however the judge sees fit.
That being the case, the single most important thing a violator can do is hire the best lawyer that they can afford and let that lawyer figure out how to best handle the violation.
A couple of months ago a young woman came to our office and related to us that she was on probation and that she was being violated. The violation stemmed from her drug and alcohol tests. Specifically, she had produced several urine specimens that had returned results of “diluted.” A specimen that produces a level of creatinine that is below “normal” will be considered “diluted.”
Generally speaking, Judges will presume that a person that is repeatedly producing diluted urine specimens is using drugs and trying to flush out the drugs quickly by drinking large quantities of water. Unfortunately, most judges are willfully ignorant of the fact that there are other causes of diluted urine samples.
Our client produced nearly 80 diluted urine samples over the course of her probation. A violation issued after approximately 40 diluted samples and another 30+ samples came back diluted after the violation had been issued. The court took issue with this high number of diluted urine samples.
We believe that most lawyers would have walked into court and pled her guilty to the violation in an attempt to appease the judge. Where others take the easy road, we take the best road. We refused to let our client plead to the violation. Instead, we investigated. We sent all of her results to an expert toxicologist for his review. We researched the causes behind dilution. We spoke with numerous laboratory directors about the various reasons that she could be repeatedly producing dilute specimens.
And then Neil went to court. He argued that there was no condition of her probation that specifically prohibited her from producing dilute samples – and therefore, it was not a violation. He argued that there was ample medical evidence that women generally produce less creatinine than men. He argued that the medical evidence suggested that she was not using drugs; that is was more likely that she either has a medical condition that causes her to produce dilute samples or simply that she drinks too much water. He presented reports, studies, letters, expert testimony, etc.
And when all was said and done, our client walked out of court – WITHOUT a violation.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a violation of probation, please call our office at 248-208-3800 to see how we can help you get your probation back on the right track.