Violation of Federal Supervised Release

If you were found guilty of committing a federal crime, you were likely sentenced to supervised release after serving your time in prison. Supervised release is very similar to probation, meaning you are monitored by a Federal probation officer, forego certain rights, and have to meet certain requirements stated by the Court.

tumblr_of255ymr8x1rb72emo1_1280A violation of federal supervised release occurs when you commit a new crime or you violate your supervised release conditions. If you violate the conditions of your supervised release, then you will face certain reprimands including additional time of incarceration in a Federal prison. 

You might have a “talk” with your federal probation officer or the court may revoke you supervised release if the violation is severe. You are entitled to a revocation hearing, and it is crucial that you have an experienced attorney represent you. Regardless of the severity of you violation, call us immediately to discuss the violation and and possible defenses. It is important to remember that the Ninth Circuit has stated, “that “at revocation sentencing, a court may appropriately sanction a violator for his “breach of trust,” but may not punish him for the criminal conduct underlying the revocation.'” United States v. Hammons, 558 F.3d 1100, 1104 (9th Cir. 2009).

The most confusing and problematic issue regarding supervised release involves the amount of incarceration that the court may impose and the additional term of post-revocation supervision.

What is the guideline exposure? 

Further we will discuss the potential sentences depending on the severity of the violation. The severity levels (found in US Sentencing Guidelines) are classified as follows:

  • Grade A Violations — conduct constituting (A) a federal, state, or local offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year that (i) is a crime of violence, (ii) is a controlled substance offense, or (iii) involves possession of a firearm or destructive device of a type described in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a); or (B) any other federal, state, or local offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding twenty years;
  • Grade B Violations — conduct constituting any other federal, state, or local offense punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year;
  • Grade C Violations — conduct constituting (A) a federal, state, or local offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of one year or less; or (B) a violation of any other condition of supervision.

For Grade A and Grade B violations, probation is obligated to promptly report a violation to the Court. If you violated probation because of Grade A or B type of conduct, you will have a hearing in court to determine if you are in fact in violation. If you are found guilty of the violation, the potential penalties involved for Grade A and Grade B violations can lead to federal prison term of up to 63 months depending upon the Grade and your criminal history category.

For Grade C violations, your Federal criminal defense lawyer may convince your probation officer that your violation is minor. Furhter, he/she may show that it is not a part of a continuing pattern. Your attorney will also need to show that non-reporting will not present an undue risk to a person or the general public and run afoul of any directive of the court relative to the reporting of violations. If your attorney is able to convince the probation officer of the aforementioned, than a report to the judge can be completely avoided. If a Grade C violation goes before a Judge, you may face anywhere between 3 and 14 months depending on your criminal history category.

What is the maximum exposure?

The statutory maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed upon revocation is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3).

The court may … “revoke a term of supervised release, and require the defendant to serve in prison all or part of the term of supervised release authorized by statute for the offense that resulted in such term of supervised release without credit for time previously served on postrelease supervision, if the court, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure applicable to revocation of probation or supervised release, finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant violated a condition of supervised release, except that a defendant whose term is revoked under this paragraph may not be required to serve on any such revocation more than 5 years in prison if the offense that resulted in the term of supervised release is a class A felony, more than 3 years in prison if such offense is a class B felony, more than 2 years in prison if such offense is a class C or D felony, or more than one year in any other case.”


If you have been charged with Federal violation of probation or Federal violation of supervised release in San Diego federal court, contact LAWSTACHE™ LAW FIRM. Attorneys Anton Vialtsin and Jeremy Delicino have experience protecting those accused of federal and California crimes. Our office is conveniently located in downtown San Diego. You can reach our office by calling (619) 357-6677 or by sending an e-mail.

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