A probation violation could range from a missed meeting with your probation officer or the violation can be as serious as a new criminal offense. A probation violation could be reported by anyone, including your probation officer, coworkers, friends, family, and even your ex. Anyone can report you for allegedly violating the terms of your probation. Whether or not you go to jail for a probation violation depends on the seriousness of your violation and the number of violations you have.
If you fail to adhere to the terms of your probation, the prosecutor will file a petition for violation of probation (VOP). The court will then send you summons through the mail for you to appear for a hearing at a specific date and time. If you do not appear for your hearing, the presiding judge will issue a warrant for your arrest and you will be back in jail. However, if you answer the summons and appear in court, you need a strong defense to convince the judge that you did not commit the violation.
In a regular criminal case, the prosecution needs to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. However, in a probation hearing, the judge only needs to be convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that it is more likely than not you committed the alleged violation. If the judge finds that you did indeed violate the terms of your probation, it is up to the Judge to decide whether or not you should go to jail or continue your probation. In most cases, if you are found to have violated your probation, a more severe sentence than at your initial sentencing will be imposed.
The consequences of your probation violations hearing can be extreme. You need an attorney with experience in violations of probation matters. We will work to help you avoid jail time and get back on track with your probation. We understand the methods used by prosecutors to punish probation violations and we can defend against them. To speak to one of our dedicated attorneys, call 1-877-335-6697 for a free case evaluation.