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What Happens if You Violate Your Probation?

  If you have been convicted of a minor crime, you might receive a punishment of probation instead of being required to spend time in jail. However, probation is still very serious and requires you to follow specific rules. Violation of your probation order could mean you find yourself in need of a criminal lawyer.  

What Is Considered Violation

  There are several situations that are considered a violation of probation. In addition to the obvious ones such selling or using illegal drugs or committing some other crime, you will be in violation if you do not show up for your scheduled court appearances, do not pay the required fines or restitution or do not report to your probation officer when you are expected to. You also cannot visit certain people or places or go out of state without your officer’s permission, nor can you be arrested for another offense, even if it isn’t criminal.

Word cloud for Probation

The Process of Determining a Violation

  If you violate your probation, your officer has wide reach in regards to how he or she handles it. If you have never been in serious trouble before and your violation is not serious, you may simply receive a warning. However, your officer can also elect to send you to court. In this case, the prosecutor must prove you violated the order and the judge will consider your history within the courts to decide your punishment. Your criminal lawyer can help you present your own case if you wish. If the judge rules in favor of the prosecutor, you could face a longer probation time or even a jail sentence.  

Your Legal Rights

  It is important to know your legal rights. If accused, you have a right to receive written notice of your alleged violation and a right to attorney representation. The judge in your case must be a neutral party.   Probation violation is a serious situation that could lead to serious repercussions. If accused, be sure you have an experienced criminal lawyer on your side to present evidence and witnesses if possible.