Probation Violations & Possible Consequences

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Violations of probation are not always severe, but the consequences could require the individual to perform additional tasks, go back to prison or jail or proceed through programs or projects. When the violations occur, it is important to have a strong relationship with the probation officer so that the person receives the appropriate consequence.

The violation of probation occurs in general situations where the person on probation commits some form of crime. He or she could rob a convenience store, steal a purse or murder another individual. The infraction severity could lead to severe consequences, or the probation member may only suffer through a warning. However, the greater the crime, the more likely he or she will lose a probation revocation hearing. It is important to have a working and positive relationship with the probation officer so that he or she is able to ensure the right punishment to help the person.

The Types of Probation Explained

When a person succeeds in suspending his or her prison or jail sentence, he or she may end up on probation for a certain number of months or years. However, another person may only commit a misdemeanor and have a probation period instead of a harsher sentence imposed. The person may have the possibility of a misdemeanor, felony and formal probation periods. The less strict form is the misdemeanor where the consequences are often minor and may only lead to a longer probation time. Felony probation is for those committing felony crimes, and the formal probation is usually connected to the felony committed.

Possible Consequences Explained

The most hoped for consequence of violating probation conditions is a warning. However, the most severe usually involves an early termination of the probationary period. This could lead to the incarceration of the individual once the hearing ends the probation. If the person committed another crime, he or she may have additional sentencing that adds to the original if the probation process to a revocation. This could involve additional fines, rehabilitation programs, community service, prison or jail terms and a variety of other sentences based on state concepts. If the individual committed another violation of the law, he or she will need a lawyer to defend against the charges.

One devastating consequence for the individual when he or she violates probation is the extension of the probationary period. Typical lengths may last months to years. This greatly depends on the crime type and circumstances. For aggravated charges, the probation may last up to and more than five years. Additionally, the person may need to keep constant contact with the probation officer such as a phone call or personal visit once a week or more. The increased time during probation could lead to severe limitations in what the person may accomplish in life such as seeking a better job or visiting family out of state.

Other Violations and Consequences

Failure to pay fines during the probation could result in a violation. The individual may also accomplish this through incompletion with programs, classes and community service associated or connected to the specific sentence of conviction. Submitting to a drug test is mandatory while on probation, and rejecting or failure to show up for one is in direct violation of the conditions of probation. Violations of a protective order such as communicating in a violent manner could result in revocation of probation. Schedule court dates also require attendance. This action may result in a warrant for arrest, but previously missed court dates could lead to even more severe consequences when combined. It is important to contact a lawyer immediately for any complications in showing up for court.

The person on probation needs to ensure the probation officer has information about travel, in or out of state or a move. The individual needs prior permission for leaving the state. If an arrest occurs, the probation officer needs to know this immediately. However, the person does have up to 48 hours in case something happens to prevent swift contact. Any issues with drugs such as possession or selling, other offenses to the law and an arrest require the probation officer’s involvement.

Legal Support to Mitigate Consequences

When the individual violates probation, he or she may need to contact a lawyer to prevent returning to jail or prison. If he or she did not violate probation but become implicated in illegal activity, he or she needs legal representation to help. By mitigating the potential consequences, the person may retain probation and avoid further impact.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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