Violating Probation: What to Know

What happens if someone violates their probation?

Probation is a supervised alternative to a prison sentence. It allows offenders to serve their time at home instead of in a cell, provided they adhere to a certain set of conditions. If those conditions aren’t met, however, a number of penalties could occur.

Here’s what to know about probation violations, including their potential consequences.

What Is a Probation Violation?

Probationary conditions can look different from person to person, but there are some common violations that most offenders must avoid. These include:

  • Not attending required meetings with an assigned probation officer
  • Not attending required court dates
  • Not completing required community service hours
  • Traveling out of state without permission
  • Failing a drug test
  • Committing another crime or getting arrested under suspicion of committing another crime

To be considered a violation, one or more of these acts must occur during the probationary period. This is usually about one to three years, though may be more.

Possible Consequences

An individual who violates probation will typically need to attend a court hearing. There, a prosecuting attorney will have to prove the violation took place with a high degree of certainty.

If a judge agrees with the prosecutor, they will hand down a sentence. This could include an extension of the probationary period, new probation conditions, or a revocation of probation and a subsequent prison sentence.

Defendant Rights

Defendants have rights during a probation violation hearing, just as they do during any other type of hearing. Regardless of the evidence against them, a defendant must receive written notice of the charge and has the right to an attorney in court. They also have the right to have evidence presented on their behalf.

Do you have questions or need assistance? Reach out today (330) 394-1587.

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