Depending on the criminal offense, the courts may decide to give you probation instead of jail time.
Although a preferred outcome, this community-supervised release comes with strict conditions. If you fail to meet all of these terms and requirements, you may find yourself serving your time behind bars instead.
1. What do the courts consider a probation violation?
The parameters of your probation may vary based on the crime committed. Regardless, you must follow all of those rules from the beginning of the probationary period until the official end date. If your probation officer believes you have committed a violation, he or she may file an affidavit to the court listing all specific details of the suspected violation. The courts will then review this document and determine if a violation truly occurred.
2. What might a violation look like?
Violations may run the gamut from a seemingly simple technical violation to committing another crime. Some of the most common violations include:
- Moving out of the court-ordered area
- Failing to meet with a probation officer
- Missing a scheduled alcohol or drug screen
- Testing positive on a drug test
Depending on your situation, other probable causes of a violation include not completing a drug or alcohol program or failing to pay any restitution the court ordered.
3. What potential penalties come with a violation?
Once the court decides you committed a violation, a warrant gets issued for your arrest. After you are in custody, the judge has options regarding your situation. For small offenses, your probation may get reinstated or modified. If arrested for another crime or you commit more serious violations, such as having a firearm, probation may get revoked.
Although every situation plays out differently, getting legal help sooner than later may help you avoid severe violation consequences.