Sentencing Levels And Probation In Delaware Criminal Cases
The details will certainly vary based upon the case, but punishment options after being convicted of a crime generally boil down to fines, jail time, and probation. The Delaware criminal sentencing laws provide for the presumptive sentences, starting with a Class A Felony up to life imprisonment down to the Class B Misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail. However, as you are probably aware, probation instead of incarceration is a common way of resolving certain criminal charges. In such a situation, the judge “suspends” the imprisonment component, and your case remains open for purposes of probation.
Getting probation is a positive outcome for many cases, but it is important to understand what happens if you do not meet the conditions established by the court. While you should trust a Wilmington probation violations lawyer to handle the specifics about probation and sentencing, an overview may help you understand the basics.
How Sentencing Levels Work in Delaware
A criminal case may move to sentencing immediately after a conviction, or a hearing may be scheduled at a later date to address the issue. As part of the sentencing process, you will be assigned to a supervision level, which refers to how you will serve out your sentence.
- Level I is unsupervised probation, in which you will not be required to meet with a probation officer. There may be special conditions attached, but the basic requirement is not getting arrested throughout the probation period.
- You will be required to report to a probation officer for Level II supervised probation, and you could be subjected to random searches and/or drug testing.
- Level III involves intensive supervision, which means more frequent meetings with your probation officer and attending court status conferences. The restrictions and terms of probation are far stricter than Levels I and II.
- Level IV is what you may recognize as house arrest, either at your own home or a residential treatment facility.
- When you are taken into custody to serve your sentence at a jail or prison, for a misdemeanor or felony respectively, the sentencing is Level V.
Probation Violations Can Lead to Serious Consequences
If you are arrested or fail to comply with the terms of your probation for Levels I through IV, the court has the power to issue a warrant for your arrest. Police officers serving the warrant can take you into custody immediately, and you will be required to attend a hearing on whether your actions constitute a probation violation. A finding of noncompliance might lead the judge to order the presumptive sentence or other penalties.
Get Legal Advice from a Delaware Probation Violations Attorney
If you are facing allegations that you violated the terms of your probation, retaining skilled legal counsel is critical. To learn how our team supports your rights, please call 302.600.1262 or go online to reach Attorney Michael W. Modica. We can set up a consultation at our Wilmington, DE office to review your circumstances and determine a strategy for handling probation violations.