The United States Supreme Court said in the case of Alabama vs. Shelton, a court cannot impose a suspended sentence that will result in a person actually going to jail unless that person was represented by an attorney when he was prosecuted for the original case.
The Supreme Court's reasoning was a person should have an attorney before they are subjected to potential imprisonment.
You probably think this means if you didn't have a lawyer when you pled or were found guilty, you can't be sent to jail in a probation revocation for that case.
Things aren't always that simple. Unfortunately, lawyers and courts sometimes muddy the waters.
Some judges still send people to jail even when they didn't have a lawyer on their original case.
These judges say it's not because of the probation violation but because the person violated the judge's orders. If you violate a judge's order, you can be held in contempt and you can be sent to jail.
Whether the judges who do this are right or wrong, if you're facing a probation revocation you need a lawyer.
If you want our help just give us a call at Segal and Segal.