Criminal Defense Attorney
What happens when you violate your probation? The answer will vary based on state and federal law. You are in violation of your probation if you disregard or refuse to abide by the conditions or rules of your probation at any period during the time you are on probation. The duration of your probation will depend on the crime you were convicted of and generally lasts one to three years.
Incidents that would constitute a violation of your probation might be:
- Failing to show up in court for an appearance at a scheduled time and date
- Seeing people or going places without first getting the approval from your probation officer
- Failing to report to your probation officer when you are scheduled to do so
- Failing to pay court-ordered fines and/or restitution to victims
- Using, selling, or possessing illegal drugs
- Carrying out another crime
- Getting in trouble with law enforcement regardless of the fact that it was or was not criminal conduct
What Happens if You Violate Your Probation?
The consequences of violating your parole will be up to your parole officer. They will likely look at the circumstances surrounding the violation and determine the next steps. You could be issued a warning, or you may have to appear at a hearing for violation of probation. If this is your first violation, you may just receive a warning. However, if you have violated your probation in the past, there could be a penalty involved, which could include spending some time in jail.
What Happens at the Probation Hearing?
The judge will listen to your case and decide if you were in violation of the terms of your probation. There will be a prosecuting attorney present and they will have to show that the violation occurred, using the standard of ‘preponderance of the evidence’, meaning there is a fifty percent or more chance that you violated your probation. The judge will view the circumstances around the violation, just as your probation officer did, and make a decision as to the type of penalty to hand down.
What Happens after the Hearing?
If the judge determines you are guilty of violating your probation, he will dispense sentencing following the hearing. You may have your probation extended for an additional amount of time, there may be stricter probation terms, you may have to spend time in jail. If the court feels determines that your violation was serious, the judge may take away your probation and you will have to spend the rest of the time left of your original sentence in prison.
Your Rights During the Hearing
Your attorney can advise you of the rights you have at a probation hearing. A criminal defense attorney will inform you that:
- You should have received written notice of the probation violations you committed
- You have a right to be represented by an attorney
- Your case should be heard in court by a judge who is neutral to your case
- You can provide witnesses and evidence that validate your case
The first thing you should do if you find yourself being charged with probation violation is to contact a criminal defense attorney San Francisco, CA trusts and have them explain your rights.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense and probation violations.