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What Happens When You Violate Your Probation


Probation enables a criminal defendant to stay out of jail and instead carry out a community-based supervision. A favorable option to jail time, probation is a privilege that should be taken seriously, and it is a privilege that can be revoked.


Here’s what you need to know about probation and the consequences of violating probation conditions.


What does probation look like?

The terms of probation will vary from case to case and are highly dependent on the crime and the judge presiding over the case in question, but there are some probation conditions that can be common. These conditions may include:

  • No additional violations of the law;

  • Regular check-ins with a probation officer;

  • Appearing in court at scheduled times;

  • Refraining from drug or alcohol use and passing drug tests;

  • Paying court-ordered fines or restitution; and

  • Completing community service.

If a criminal defendant adheres to the stated requirements for a specified period of time and pays all required restitution, they will have completed their probation and, assuming no further crimes are committed, will be able to exit the criminal justice system.


Consequences of violating probation

Probation is a privilege predicated on trust and belief in the criminal defendant, and violating such trust is not taken lightly.


When a probation officer suspects a criminal defendant has failed to meet one of the conditions of his or her probation, they will file a violation investigation and a ‘probation hold’ will be placed on the criminal defendant, which may require the criminal defendant be held in jail until the investigation is complete.


Much like the determination of probation conditions, the consequence of violating probation is largely up to the judge. At the very least, the duration of probation may be extended. Depending on the severity of the violation, new terms or conditions may also be added, such as additional community service requirements or mandatory counseling.


It is entirely within the judge’s power to revoke probation entirely, meaning the criminal defendant must serve out the rest of their sentence in jail.


Probation Revocation

If, during the investigation process, a probation officer determines there was a violation, the probation officer may revoke probation. If revocation is recommended, there will be a probation hearing in front of an administrative law judge with the criminal defendant’s probation officer and attorney to determine the outcome.


The stakes at a probation hearing are high, and having a skilled criminal defense attorney in your corner may help you avoid time in jail.


Hire a criminal defense attorney

If you have been accused of violating the conditions of your probation, a criminal defense attorney can be an invaluable resource and advocate in the process and help minimize further consequences. Everson Law Firm provides full-service criminal defense representation and can offer expert assistance in a wide range of criminal defense matters. Contact us to set up a free consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Randall Petrouske.