What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Probation?

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Probation?

Some people that have been convicted of a crime will be sentenced to probation instead of jail time. Probation allows the defendant to stay out of jail as long as he follows certain rules that are set by his probation officer. Some of the terms of probation may include meeting with your probation officer on a regular basis, appearing at all court hearings, paying fines to the victims, refraining from alcohol or drug use, and not leaving the state without prior permission. If you choose to violate the terms of probation, you could face serious legal consequences. Here’s what you should expect immediately after you commit a violation of probation:

Notice to Appear in Court

If you violate the terms of probation, your probation officer can either issue a warning or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. The probation officer will decide whether to issue a warning or take you to court based on a number of factors, including the severity of the violation and whether you have violated the terms of your probation in the past.

The Probation Hearing

The probation officer may decide against issuing a warning and take you to court to attend a probation hearing instead. The judge presiding over your case will listen to both sides and determine if a violation occurred. Unlike in criminal court, the prosecutor does not need to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor only needs to show that you are guilty by a preponderance of evidence, which does not require as much proof.

The Sentencing

If the prosecutor is able to prove that you violated the terms of your probation, you will face penalties. The judge may decide to extend the length of your probation or create additional terms of your probation. In some cases, the judge may decide to send you to jail. He can either send you for a brief period of time or he can revoke your probation and order you to serve the rest of your time behind bars.

The judge may take your criminal record, history of violations, and the nature of the violation in consideration when determining an appropriate sentence.

You have the right to an attorney during your probation hearing, and it’s important that you exercise this right. If you have been accused of violating your probation, contact an attorney at Reisch Law Firm right away. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

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