If you are on probation, it is critical that you follow the terms and conditions of your probation to avoid additional trouble. A violation is serious, and depending on the circumstances, you could find yourself facing a variety of far-reaching consequences.
There are ways you could be accused of violating your probation. Some examples are:
- Not appearing for a court appearance
- Traveling out of the state or country without the permission of your probation officer
- Neglecting to report to your probation officer as required
- Visiting specific places or people that you are prohibited from seeing
- Using illegal drugs
- Committing any type of criminal offense
If you’re guilty of violating your probation, you can expect the following:
- A request to appear in court: In some cases, your probation officer may issue a warning in an attempt to give you another chance. However, if the violation is more serious, you will likely be commanded to appear in court for a violation hearing.
- Review of the violation: A judge hears your case to determine if you violated the terms of your probation. Just the same as any court case, you have the opportunity to defend yourself against the charges, with the primary goal proving that you did not commit a crime.
- Sentencing: It is your hope that the judge finds you not guilty, but if this isn’t the case sentencing will occur. The judge takes into consideration a variety of factors when determining your sentence, such as the severity of the violation, whether it’s your first offense and if anyone else was harmed by your actions.
What are the penalties?
The judge in your probation violation case has the discretion to impose a variety of penalties, based on the details of your case and state laws. For example, the most serious penalty is being sent back to jail. This is the result of the judge revoking your probation and requiring you to serve out the remainder of your original sentence.
Other penalties can include:
- Paying a fine
- Paying restitution to a victim
- Community service
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a probation violation, don’t assume the worst. Learn more about your charges and legal rights, and then devise a defense strategy to help you avoid the most serious penalties.