Do you need a lawyer for probation violation?

arrested for probation violation

What is probation?

Probation is a court-ordered punishment for a person who has been found guilty of a crime. This allows that person to stay within their community while being supervised by an assigned probation officer. This is typically ordered instead of jail time or sometimes after jail time is served. If the person breaks any of the following probation conditions or commits another crime during this period, it is considered probation violation:

  • Community service
  • Counseling with professionals in relation to the crime committed
  • Fines and/or Jail time
  • Periodic reporting to an assigned probation officer
  • Restitution for property damaged and/or stolen
  • Restrictions on alcohol, drugs, weapons

The two types of probation are:

  • Probation after jail time
  • Probation in lieu of jail time

Sometimes, a person charged with a crime will be given an option to serve a jail sentence or be given probation. Often the probation period is longer than the jail time, so the person chooses jail to be done with punishment faster and to avoid probation violation and the possibility of facing aprobation violation charge.

How long do you go to jail for a probation violation?

If a person is found guilting of probation violation, there are various sentencing possibilities they could face. With a probation violation or revocation, a person could be sentenced to ANY of the original punishments, including jail or prison time. It will depend on the original charge, but the sentence cannot exceed the constitutional maximums. 

The possible sentences for a probation violation include:

  • Time served: If it is determined by the judge that a person has served long enough incarcerated for the original violation, which typically applies to common crimes such as driving with a suspended license, marijuana possession, petty theft, prostitution, and uttering charges.
  • Reinstatement: The judge orders the person to return to the original probation terms and may have their probation extended for a longer time. The judge may also add community service or counseling for probation violation, but typically, the person will not have to serve extra time.
  • New Probation Term: The judge may decide the person with a probation violation will be given a new probation term, along with other requirements, if the original probation can’t be completed in time.
  • Jail or Prison Time: Judges often sentence a person that has committed probation violation to jail or prison time. The reasoning behind this is they couldn’t complete their probation period the first time, extending it or adding a new one isn’t possible either. Even if the original probation term was almost complete, the judge could sentence them to maximum jail time.

Can a probation violation be dismissed?

Probation means the crimes a person has committed could have been sentenced to jail time and/or fines. If that person commits a probation violation, they could be sent to jail, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be immediately incarcerated. There is a process the courts must follow for probation violation just as there is for the original violation. It is during this time the judge or the prosecutor can dismiss the probation violation charge. The defense can also request the probation violation charges be dropped.

What happens if you violate probation for DUI?

If a person commits probation violation with DUI or probation violation for weed, they could be sentenced to complete the original punishment, such as jail time, and have additional penalties for their probation violation. The additional penalties can include:

  • License revocation
  • Feed and/or fines
  • Mandatory drug testing

A person charged with probation violation will most likely be ordered to appear at a probation revocation hearing.

What happens on your third probation violation?

When a defendant is charged with a probation violation, it is seen by the judge as disrespecting the court.  The judges and the prosecutor may see they have no choice but to terminate the probation and sentence the defendant to executed time. The judge can reinstate the suspended sentence or more, depending on the original crime, the probation violation, any time served, and other factors.

statue of justice

How long can a probation hold last?

Typically, the probation period is one year to three years but can be longer. The judge will review the factors of the crime, any prior convictions or offenses, the situation around the crime, and more. Probably can be as little as six months or for life. Each state has its own guidelines for a judge to follow, and the federal court has its own guidelines as well.

A defendant can request an early probably release. The deciding judge may require that one-third of the probation be completed, or they may require the defendant to complete all the conditions such as community service, rehabilitation classes, fees, fines, and restitution paid in full. If the original crime was DUI/DWI, sex crime, or felony, the chance of reduced probation time most likely won’t be allowed.

There are several ways to commit probation violation, some of which are:

  • Not appearing for a scheduled court appearance
  • Failure to report to a probation officer
  • Failure to pay required fines or restitution
  • Traveling outside of limits set by the judge
  • Associating with persons of criminal background
  • Possessing, using, or selling alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Committing other crime or offense
  • Being arrested

Each of these things could be considered a probation violation and how the judge handles will depend on several factors as discussed in this piece. Need probation violation bonds in Baton Rouge, LA? Call 225-414-9999 today for bail from Independent Bail Bonds.