Did You Know Your Attorney Can Ask for a Reduced Sentence at a Probation Violation Hearing?

The probation violation statute, K.S.A. 22-3716, permits judges to impose a lesser prison sentence than the one imposed at the defendant's original sentencing hearing. Having briefed probation violation cases several times, I was familiar with the provision. But, this is not the matter of common knowledge I believed it to be; an attorney recently told me that after asking several other attorneys, I was the only one who was aware of the provision.  Specifically, the statute reads as follows:

K.S.A. 22-3716(b)(3)(B): If the original crime of conviction was a misdemeanor or a nondrug felony, and a violation is established, the court may (i) Continue or modify the probation, (ii) impose an intermediate sanction of confinement in a county jail, or (iii) revoke the probation and require the defendant to serve the sentence imposed, or any lesser sentence. (The wording was substantially abbreviated for the purposes of this posting).​

Humble brag aside, you're probably wondering how this applies to you.  In each of my cases where my clients are at risk of being remanded to serve a jail or prison sentence due to violating the terms of probation, I consider asking the district court to impose a lesser sentence.​

While I do not feel comfortable going into details in specific cases, I have seen judges grant lesser sentences in cases where drug treatment had been successful for an extended period of time and more was necessary, the defendant required urgent medical attention, or the defendant was starting school or a job. 

Each case is based on a set of specific facts and circumstances.  Obviously, I cannot, and will not, guarantee that a motion to impose a lesser sentence will be successful in every case.  But, I will work with you to put you in the best position possible for a lesser sentence, if you find your probation about to be revoked.