Probation Violation Laws Explained
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Probation Violation FAQ
What happens if I violate my probation?
Probation violation is an offense that occurs when you break the terms or conditions of your probation. The consequences associated with Probation Violation usually depend on a variety of factors, such as the nature and seriousness of the violation, whether you have any prior violations, and whether there are other circumstances that may lessen (or worsen) the severity of the situation.
Will I automatically be sent to jail?
A probation violation may result in significant penalties, such as heavy fines, extended probation, jail time, or more.
How is probation violated?
Generally, a probation violation occurs when you ignore, avoid, refuse, or otherwise break the terms or conditions of your probation at any time during the probationary period. Probation typically runs from one to three years, but may also last for several years depending on the original offense.
Probation may be violated in many different ways. Circumstances that may lead to a probation violation include:
- Not appearing during a scheduled court appearance on a set date and time
- Not reporting to your probation officer at the scheduled time or place
- Not paying required fines or restitution (to victims) as ordered by a court
- Visiting certain people or places, or traveling out of state without the permission of your probation officer
- Possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs
- Committing other crimes or offenses
- Getting arrested for another offense, regardless of whether criminal or not
I violated my probation, what happens next?
There is no set rule as to what happens immediately after a probation violation is reported. Probation officers have broad discretion to issue a warning, or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. In deciding, a probation officer may consider the severity and type of condition violated, past probation violations or warnings, and other considerations. If you are requested to appear in court, the probation officer will request some form of penalty, which may potentially include jail time.
How is a probation violation determined?
During a probation hearing, a sentencing judge will hear your case to consider whether you violated any terms or conditions of your probation. The prosecuting attorney will need to prove a violation occurred by a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, or by a likelihood of more than 50 percent. Factors a judge might consider include the nature, type, and seriousness of the violation claimed, as well as a history of prior probation violations and other aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
What are the consequences if I am guilty of a probation violation?
If you are found guilty of probation violation, sentencing will occur shortly after the probation hearing, at which time the court may extend your probation, impose additional probation terms, order you to serve a brief time in jail, or revoke your probation altogether and require you to serve out any remaining time of your original sentence in jail or prison. Factors a judge may consider in determining your sentence may include the nature and manner of the offense and whether the offender was a "first-time" or "repeat" offender, among other considerations.
How do I contact Rhett Bernstein for help with my Probation Violation-related case?
Rhett Bernstein offers a free initial case analysis. To set up an appointment or to speak with Mr Bernstein:
- Please visit our contact page where you can submit an email or;
- Call his office at (503) 454-6610
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