If I violate my probation, will I be sent to jail?
The consequences of a probation violation are typically influenced by a host of factors, most notably the nature and seriousness of the issue, previous history, and presence of other factors that can affect the severity of the violation. However, the victim will probably suffer a lot in penalties, including substantial fines, the extension of the total probation time, and even being sent behind bars.
How the probation violation can be done
Although their respective states govern them, all Probation violation laws vary with states. It usually runs for 1-3 years, albeit it can extend beyond seven years. The problem arises when someone ignores, avoids, refuses, or fails to honor the terms of the probation while it lasts.
Some of the deeds that comprise a violation of probation entail:
- Ignoring the preset date of court appearance.
- Failing to report to probation officer at a given time or place.
- Refusing to pay any restitution and fines as directed by the court.
- Meeting certain people or traveling outside the state, without notifying the probation officer.
- Owning, abusing, or selling illegal substances.
- Committing crimes and offenses.
- Getting arrested due to another offense.
When probation is violated – what happens?
Warning and/or Request to appear in court
Since there’s no particular rule pertaining to what happens when the violation is done and reported, it’s the officer who decides what to do. But depending on how severe the abuse was, prior warnings, and other factors, the officer may choose to fine or jail you.
Determination of the violation
A probation hearing offers your case for hearing before a judge and determines that you violated the probation. The prosecuting attorney must prove you went against the rules by a likelihood of over 50% or by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Some issues to be considered by the judge will include the type and nature of the claim, with its severity and your history concerning the same.
After determining one is guilty of probation violation, sentencing will follow soon after. It will vary from extending the probation or imposing extra probation terms or serving jail time and revoking the probation altogether and serving the remaining time behind bars.
Legal rights at the probation hearing
Even when you are guilty of probation violence, there are some rights that, when you know, might help reduce the severity of the sentence. They include:
- You must receive a written notice bearing all the claimed violations against you.
- A neutral judge must hear the case.
- You are entitled to attorney representation.
- You may bring witnesses and evidence.
Penalties and punishments
Lighter penalties may include:
- Performing community service
- Attending rehabilitation
- “Boot camp.”
- Other programs aimed at correcting the behavior
- Paying fines to victims
- A brief time in jail
- Serving the remaining terms of the original sentence behind bars
It’s clear that probation violation can be a serious crime with a potential of yielding great consequences and penalties. And, since no one would prefer to serve time in jail, seeking an Orange County criminal defense attorney will be expected.