Probation is one way that someone convicted of a crime can remain in the community instead of finding themselves in prison. Probation usually involves meeting with a probation officer to make sure that the terms of the probation agreement are upheld and the individual is on the road to complete any required tasks in the time allotted. When the terms or conditions of the probation are broken in any way, it is considered a probation violation. This can result in a warning from a probation officer or a probation hearing before a judge.
Did I violate my probation?
There are many different things a judge could order to satisfy the terms of the probation. Not all of these will immediately find an offender in the court system once more, but it is still important to make sure that you are not jeopardizing your freedom.
Some of the most frequent ways that probations are violated include:
- Using prohibited drugs
- Breaking the law again
- Incomplete community service
- Moving without reporting to probation officer
- Failing to meet with probation officer
- Travelling without approval
- Neglecting to gain employment
- Failing to pay associated fees and restitution
If a probation officer determines that the terms were violated, a violation hearing can be scheduled. This means that some penalty may be imposed in place of the probationary terms. At this hearing, the prosecution will need to show that a violation was committed with over 50% certainty. Depending on the violation committed, a judge can order stricter terms or additional time to the probation, revoke the probation altogether, add an additional jail sentence, or determine that the rest of the time that would have been spent in probation occur in jail instead.
Since harsh probation terms and a jail sentence can accompany a probation violation, it is important that the accused bring legal representation to their violation hearing. For a free consultation to decide if our criminal defense team is right for your case, contact Garretson & Toth, LLC.