What Happens if You Violate Your Probation?

When you have been charged and convicted of a crime, you will receive a sentence that is meant to be viewed as punishment. Sentences can include fines and time in jail, but it can also include a period of supervision that is known as probation. Probation is established for a specific period of time, during which the person who has been convicted is expected to follow certain rules. This may include reporting in to a probation officer, not being found in possession of a firearm, having to live within the borders of a specific geographic location, and not committing other crimes, among other restrictions. When the probationary period is successfully completed and the offender complies with all of the rules, they no longer face punishment, but if you violate your probation there are a number of consequences that you may face. If you have violated your probation, it is a good idea to consult with a seasoned criminal defense attorney to discuss your options. At Erik B. Jensen, Attorneys at Law, we can help.

A probation violation can be as simple as having been caught drinking or with drugs in your system. It may mean that you traveled over a state line – or it could be as serious as having broken a law. Much of what happens will depend upon what your violation is and what your original terms were. Some of the possible things that might happen include:

  •  Getting a warning – this is often the case if it’s your first violation and it was minor. If you have been good about adhering to the terms of your probation and this was a simple mistake, there is a good chance that this will be the case. Similarly, you may be asked to perform some kind of community service.
  • Rehabilitation – if your violation represented having drugs or alcohol in your system or being in possession of drugs, you may be ordered to either check into a rehab or go to jail.
  • Counseling – if your probation officer thinks that your violation represents some kind of psychological or emotional issue, they may ask you to begin seeing a therapist.
  • Fines – sometimes when a person violates their probation, they are required to pay additional restitution to the victim of their original crime, or a penalty fee to the court.
  • Incarceration – if your probation officer believes that your violation is an indication that you are in need of punishment, or a reminder of the seriousness of your original crime, they may recommend that you spend some time in jail
  • Expanded period of probation – A probation officer may feel that your violation shows that you are not ready to enter society without supervision, so may extend the period of your penalty.
  • Revocation of probation – if your violation is serious enough, then you may need to go to court and defend your ability to remain on probation. This is called a probation violations hearing.

If you have committed a new crime or violated your probation you may be called to a probation violation hearing to determine which consequence is most appropriate. It is essential that you have competent legal representation to stand up for your rights and tell your side of the story. The attorneys at Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law are experienced criminal defense attorneys who will provide you with a robust defense designed to allow you to stay out of jail and minimize the penalties you face for violating your probation. Call us at your earliest convenience to let us get to work on your behalf.