After the initial appearance, the sentencing judge will schedule a final revocation hearing to determine whether a violation has occurred, and if so, what sentence to impose. At that hearing, the client will be asked to either “admit” or “deny” the violations in the petition. If the client denies any of the violations, he is entitled to a hearing to determine if a violation has occurred. At the hearing, there is no jury. The judge will decide what happened. Both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer are entitled to present evidence and witnesses. A client may testify on his own behalf at a violation hearing. The standard for being convicted of a violation is different than the standard for conviction at a trial. The burden of proof is lower at a violation hearing. At a violation hearing, proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not required. Instead, proof by a preponderance of the evidence is necessary.
In some cases, the parties can reach an agreement where the client will admit to one or more of the violations, and the other violations will be dismissed. In some cases, the judge will allow the petition to remain open, or pending, to give the client an opportunity to improve his compliance with the terms of supervision. After a certain period of good behavior, sometimes the petition can be dismissed or withdrawn.