The Champion

November 2006 , Page 28 

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Representing a Client Charged With Violating Conditions of Supervised Release--Part I

By Douglas A. Morris

Like everything else in federal criminal defense, there is nothing simple about representing someone who is accused of violating the conditions of their term of probation or supervised release. That is not to say that there are not cases that are straightforward and without error, it is to say that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to representing such people. Thus, failing to know the “ins and outs” of representing such folks can lead to a defendant spending more time in prison than is necessary.

“Supervised release, and by extension, probation, are components of the original sentence[,]” and violation and revocation of supervised release does not constitute a separate charge, because supervised release is merely “a continuation of the original charge.”1 Yet, “[t]he period of supervised release is an independent element of the [original] sentence. It is not carved out of the maximum permissible time allotted for incarceration under some other criminal statute.”2  

Probatio

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