There are several reasons that an individual might be on probation. However, it doesn’t matter why you’re on probation. All that matters is that you don’t break the conditions of it. If you do, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble. Learn how a probation violation defense attorney could help you avoid more trouble with the law.
What is Probation Violation?
When you commit a crime, part of your sentence might be probation. Your probation comes with specific terms. If you fail to follow those terms, then you’re committing a crime known as probation violation. That crime comes with legal penalties. For example, you could serve jail time, face heavy fines, or have the terms of your probation extended.
Every state has different laws regarding parole violations. Additionally, everyone has different terms of their probation. Therefore, there is no one general way to violate parole. The only way to violate parole is to break your specific terms. However, you can also get into trouble for ignoring, avoiding, or refusing the terms of your parole. If you are on probation, then you have a legal obligation to follow those terms.
Often, probation lasts between one and three years. However, the time can be longer or shorter. At the time of your sentencing, your judge determined the terms of your parole. The length of probation depends on the severity of the crime and is at the judge’s discretion.
What are Common Examples of Probation Violation?
Although the terms of probation vary greatly, there are a few common terms. Most probation agreements include one or several of the following terms. If these terms are in your court-ordered agreement, then breaking any one of the terms is probation violation.
1. Showing up for court when the court is expecting you
2. Reporting to your probation officer when he expects you to meet him
3. Paying your court-ordered fines or restitution on time
4. Getting permission from your probation officer to leave the state
5. Staying away from drugs and testing negative for drugs
6. Not facing any other criminal charges
7. Avoiding arrest
The Violation Process
There is no specific procedure that occurs after you break parole. Instead, it depends on your situation. If someone reports your parole violation, then you could get a warning from your probation officer. However, your probation officer might not give you a warning. She can choose to report your violation and send you to court for probation violation hearing. In court, you and your probation violation defense attorney would need to fight probation violation charges.
Whether or not your probation officer reports you depends on a few factors. For one, it depends on your past violations. If this is your first violation, then you might only get a warning. However, past violations make it more likely that your probation officer will report you. Another factor is the seriousness of your violation. For example, getting arrested is quite a serious violation of your terms. Your officer might choose to report you. Finally, your probation officer will consider any other circumstances. If she feels that there is a good reason for your violation, then she might not report you.
The Probation Hearing
If you don’t get a warning, then you need to appear in court. At your hearing, your probation officer will request a penalty. However, the decision is not in the hands of your probation officer. Instead, it is in the hands of your judge. Your judge will listen to your testimony and the probation officer’s testimony. He will also listen to your probation violation defense attorney.
The hearing isn’t only to determine your sentence. During the hearing, the judge must decide if you did violate terms of your probation. It’s up to the prosecution to prove that there is a likelihood that you broke parole. If she fails to prove your guilt, then you might not be guilty of breaking probation.
If the judge finds that you are guilty, then the judge will issue you with a penalty. Only the judge will determine your sentence. He will consider the severity of your parole violation. Additionally, he will consider your past offenses and warnings. After reviewing all the facts of your case, he will choose a sentence for you.
In some cases, the judge might extend your probation. However, he could send you to jail for a short time. If the probation was in lieu of a longer jail sentence, then the judge could force you to serve the full sentence. It a depends on the situation and the circumstances surrounding your case.
Your Probation Violation Defense Attorney
If you want to fight the probation violation or get a limited sentence, then you need a probation violation defense attorney . He can fight for your rights in court. With his help, you might be able to get back to serving your probation and putting your past behind you.