Criminal defendants are sometimes placed on probation as an alternative to serving time in prison. When on probation, defendants are subject to strict restrictions and requirements that they must comply with for the duration of their probation. Examples of restrictions and requirements include abstaining from drugs and alcohol, required visits with a parole officer, wearing an ankle monitoring device, and getting a job. While probation is typically a welcomed alternative to serving time in prison, when probation is violated the consequences can be severe and sometimes include prison time.
Alleged violations may lead to a hearing where a judge will evaluate the evidence presented by the probation officer and defense testimony. The judge will then decide whether or not the defendant violated probation and if he or she finds that there was a violation, the defendant may be issued a new sentence with new probation requirements or the defendant may end up serving the prison sentence that was originally avoided with probation.
Contact an attorney
It is important to contact a probation violation attorney as soon as you receive notice of probation violation so that he or she can intervene on your behalf. An attorney may be able to handle the situation by negotiating with your probation officer to avoid the hearing altogether. An attorney will also be able to represent you at a probation violation hearing to defend the alleged violations and argue for limited violation consequences.
Common probation violations
Common probation violations include the following:
- Drug or alcohol use
- Failure to report a change of address or employment
- Failure to report to the probation officer
- Failure to get or keep a job
- Violation of curfew
- Violation of community service requirements
- Failure to attend required classes or participate in required programs
- Failure to pay fines and fees
- Leaving the jurisdiction
- Committing a new crime
Consequences of violating probation
Consequences of violating probation are wide ranging and may include a simple warning issued from your probation officer, incarceration, additional restrictions and requirements added to your probation, or additional time added to your probationary period.
When you have a probation violation attorney representing you, not only will the attorney defend you and fight for your rights and in your best interests, but you also show your probation officer and the court that you are taking your probation and the alleged violations seriously. Probation officers and judges are often willing to work with people that they believe are truly trying to get their life back on track and comply with probationary terms.
Probation violation attorneys at SMT Legal
Our attorneys will take all necessary steps to protect your interests when you have been accused of violating your probation. Our attorneys understand the criminal law system and they know how to work with probation officers and how to negotiate with them to serve your best interests. If your case ends up in front of a judge at a probation violation hearing, our attorneys will be there to fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf.