Being on probation can be a big relief if you are able to avoid a jail sentence. However, the legal system sees probation as a right, not a privilege, and there are strict rules and regulations that must be followed while being sentenced to probation.
These rules usually include heavy restrictions (and outright bans) on using controlled substances and alcohol. Those on probation are often required to do community service and appear in court at certain times to give updates about progress. People who violate their probation subject themselves to a variety of serious outcomes. If you think you may have violated your probation, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What Counts as Violating Probation?
A probation violation can occur after a number of events, including
- Failure to comply with a court order or to check in with a probation officer
- Committing a new crime
- Failure to pay court fines, fees, and other forms of restitution
- Removal of a monitoring device
What Happens If I Violate My Probation?
In some cases, a violation just results in a warning from the probation officer. Warnings are sometimes given out if the violation was less severe or if it was a first time offense.
After a violation, the probation officer can also ask the court through a petition to revoke probation. Once this occurs, the defendant will be asked to appear in court to speak with a judge about the violation. During a probation violation arrangement, the defendant will have to admit or file a denial to the violation.
During a violation hearing, both sides can bring in witnesses to discuss the probation terms and potential violation(s). A defendant and their attorney will have to show that the probation was revoked unjustly with an arbitrary nature in order to successfully appeal a revocation petition.
If a judge finds there is no violation, the original terms of probation will go into effect.
Otherwise, a person who breaks probation could find themselves returning to incarceration or face additional probation restrictions.
Additional, or intensive probation, often sees a defendant placed under house arrest. Additional restrictions could include urinalysis or breath samples by a surveillance officer, and requirements to call and update about plans to leave and return to the house for work or other court-approved activities. Probation for a person who was convicted of a felony can be extended for up to five years in the state of Arizona, and for up to two years for a misdemeanor conviction.
If you have violated your probation or are facing a probation revocation petition, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If no action is taken, the risk of additional punishments like jail time or hefty fines is all but assured. A skilled lawyer will be able to work with you to discuss the circumstances surrounding the probation violation and do their best to defend you and your interests in an appeals court. Contact us today to arrange a free legal consultation.