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What Happens if I Violate My Probation?

When criminal offenders are put on probation, they are expected to adhere to a laundry list of “terms” or “conditions” of probation. Once in a while, an offender will intentionally or unintentionally violate their probation, and when they do they can expect their probation officer to find out about it.

When a defendant violates one of his or her terms or conditions of probation, it is called a “probation violation.” The consequences of violating your probation vary depending on various factors, such as:

  • The nature of the violation
  • The seriousness of the violation
  • If there is a history of probation violations
  • If there are mitigating circumstances that minimize the violation
  • If there are aggravating circumstances that worsen the violation

Probation violations are handled on a case-by-case basis and all relevant factors are considered. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, the offender may be subjected to hefty fines, additional probation, or they may sent to jail, among other penalties.

How Offenders Violate Probation

Generally, an offender violates a term or condition of their probation when they disobey, ignore, refuse, or otherwise break one of the terms of their probation at any time while they are on probation.

Offenders usually receive probation for one to three years, but probation can last longer depending on the facts of the case. There are many ways that an offender can violate their probation, including but not limited to:

  • Failing to appear in court at a scheduled day and time.
  • Not reporting to one’s probation officer when scheduled to.
  • Drinking alcohol when prohibited from doing so.
  • Associating with known criminals when not allowed to.
  • Contacting a victim of assault or domestic violence when barred from doing so.
  • Abusing drugs when ordered to stay away from them.
  • Committing new crimes while on probation.
  • Not paying one’s required restitution or court-ordered fines.
  • Possessing a firearm when ordered not to.
  • Travelling out of state without permission from one’s probation officer.

What happens after probation is violated? It depends on the violation, there are no set rules as to what happens when someone violates probation. In the case of violations, probation officers not only have broad discretion on what to do next, they have the authority to order a court hearing, or a warning.

If an offender is required to appear for a probation hearing and the sentencing judge finds the offender in violation of their probation, the judge may decide to: 1) extend the probation, 2) order the offender to go to jail, 3) subject the offender to additional terms of probation, or 4) revoke the probation and order the offender serves the rest of their sentence behind bars, etc.

Probation violations are serious offenses. If you violated a term of your probation, we urge you to contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLLC for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7 to take your call!