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Crime and punishment

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However, in a revocation hearing, guilt has been established so therefore some rights and rules of evidence are more relaxed. Even though the rights of a defendant in a criminal trial are more structured and strict than those of an offender whose probation is being revoked, the offender will always have the right to defend his or her position. In understanding the process to revoke probation, it must first and foremost be understood that without due process, probation cannot be revoked. This process is important in order to ensure that revocation is done for reasons that are valid and noteworthy and that the probation has been violated in such a way to warrant its revocation. Someone who has violated probation and will have it revoked will be afforded fewer rights than someone who has just been arrested. This does not mean they have no rights. The rights that they will be afforded is as follows: 1. Written notice of the violations before the revocation hearing 2. The right to see and hear the evidence against them. 3. The opportunity to be heard in person and to present witnesses and documentary evidence in their favor. 4. The right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against them. 5. A hearing panel made up of neutral members. 6. A written statement by the hearing panel, including the evidence relied on and the reasons for revoking probation (Samaha 416). Revocation of probation is the result of having violated the terms of probation which may vary from person to person depending on the charges that have been levied against them. According to Sheb, there is a two step process in revoking probation on a federal charge as described in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The first step is a preliminary hearing which will allow the magistrate to assess whether or not there is probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred and that it is a just sanction to proceed with revoking the probation. The requirements for the preliminary hearing include the right to council for the defendant and that the proceeding be recorded by a court reporter. The defendant must be provided with written notice of the hearing which will include the violation with which the defendant is being charged. The defendant has the right to appear and to question any witness to his or her violation unless it is determined by the judge that the witness does not have to appear. At this point, the judge will determine whether the violation is valid and must go onto a revocation hearing, or if the charge is without validity and may be discharged (228). The next step is the revocation hearing. This hearing must be conducted within a reasonable time from the preliminary hearing and from the time of being taken into custody. This hearing can be waived by the defendant. The person is entitled to receive a written notice of this hearing, a list of evidence that is against them, notice of the right of council, and the right to make a statement and present any evidence that pertains to their innocence or mitigating circumstance. At this hearing the formal revocation can be enacted (Sheb 229). While the rights for this procedure are more relaxed than the formalized rights for a trial, the defendant still has the right to defend his position. Some of the differences between a criminal trial and a probation revocation hearing is that in a criminal trial hearsay evidence cannot be presented. In a criminal trial evidence