When you violate your probation, you are breaking the terms and conditions of your agreement. There are many different ways one can violate probation including, but not limited to, failing to appear at a scheduled court date, not reporting to your probation officer when necessary, and not paying fines as ordered by court. You may also be in violation if you visit certain places without the permission of your officer, commit another crime or get arrested for another offense. Probation is court-ordered and, as such, it is illegal to break the terms for any reason.
Depending on the original offense, probation lengths can vary. Your attorney will be able to help you understand how long your probation will be. Until the official conclusion of probation is issued, you are at risk of violating your probation if you are careful.
Each probation violation is different, which makes the potential impact quite broad and specific to your case. A probation officer could issue a warning or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. In any circumstance, you want to speak with your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you are requested to appear in court for a hearing, your penalty could potentially include jail time.
If found guilty, your sentencing could include extended probation time, imposing of additional terms, serving a brief amount of time in jail or revoking the probation all together and requiring you to serve the remaining time of your original sentence incarcerated. For example, if you violate with six months left, you may be required to spend the remaining six months in jail.
Do you have legal rights if you violate your probation? Yes. You generally have the right to receive written notice of the claimed violations, be heard by a neutral judge, and be represented by your attorney who can present evidence to help your case. Do not wait to contact your attorney to be sure to have him or her guide you through the process and assure you understand your rights.
How serious the violation claims are can impact your violation of probation. If you do find yourself in this situation, do not hesitate to contact us. At Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney, P.A., our legal defense team is confident in our ability to make sure our client gets the absolute best defense possible.