What will happen if I am found to have violated my probation?
Probation violations occur when an individual fails to comply with his or her terms of probation. A probation violation can have serious consequences for individuals in Arizona. Probation is an intensive process and those who violate the terms of their probation could face time in jail or even be forced to complete prison time, depending on the original charge as well as the new one. If you have been accused of a probation violation, your very freedom is at stake. Our Phoenix, Arizona probation violation attorneys discuss what actions could result in a probation violation and how you can defend against charges of violating your probation below.
Potential Probation Violations
You will be required to comply with numerous terms while on probation. These terms must be strictly followed throughout the entire length of your probation sentence. There are several circumstances that could constitute a probation violation, depending on your exact probation terms, including:
- Committing a new misdemeanor or felony
- Testing positive for drugs
- Drinking alcohol
- Contact a person whom you were ordered not to contact
- Failing to pay court fees or restitution
- Failing to complete counseling or community service
- Failing to appear in court when scheduled
Consequences of Violating Probation
There are several potential consequences if you have been accused of violating your probation. For a minor violation, you may be simply given a warning from your probation officer. This warning will be documented and it is critical that you heed the warning. For more serious offenses, the probation officer can petition the court to revoke your probation. You will then receive a summons to appear in court and answer to the charges at the hearing.
At the first hearing, you are given the opportunity to admit or deny the allegations. Should you deny them, another hearing will be scheduled. There, the probation officer must prove that you violated your probation by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a lesser standard than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard required at trial. This makes it harder to fight the allegations. You will need a defense attorney to present your side and introduce evidence in support of your position that your probation was not violated. The court will either find no violation occurred or find for a violation and either revoke the probation, continue the original terms, or modify the probation.