Probation Violation Types, Consequences, and Hearings

Criminal Defense Lawyer

A skilled criminal defense lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer in Rockville, MD, can help people who are currently dealing with criminal charges, including those who have violated their probation. Probation is a sentence that a judge may enforce for someone who is convicted of a criminal charge, but wants to remain with the community versus being behind bars. When a person is charged with a crime and receives probation, the judge typically suspends the jail term and the defendant serves the probationary period instead.

During this time, they must abide by certain rules and conditions. Under no circumstances should probation be viewed as complete freedom, since there are often conditions that apply. If the defendant violates the terms of their probation, then they may have to serve the original punishments. 

Two Types of Probation
When a judge is concluding that the defendant must serve probation, there are two types that he or she may enforce. The first is formal, or otherwise called “supervised probation,” where the defendant must report on a scheduled basis with a probation officer. In general, those who have committed a felony or some misdemeanor crimes usually receive formal probation. For informal probation, this may be referred to as a “court probation,” in which the offender has to report to the court directly and not a probation officer. 

Conditions for Probation
Based on the type of probation you were under and how you broke the terms, an attorney may recommend using a specific strategy in your defense. During a consultation, the more information your attorney has about what happened, the better he or she can protect you and advise further. The conditions of probation can vary, but commonly include the following:

  • Paying fees, fines, and any restitution owed to a victim that was harmed when the crime was committed
  • Reporting to the court or probation officer as ordered by the judge
  • Not using or being in possession of any controlled substances
  • Complying with testing for illegal drugs 
  • Fulfilling community service hours
  • Not leaving the state without permission by the court first
  • Complying with a search of their person, car, or residence by an officer as deemed necessary by the court
  • Not being in possession of any weapons, and any guns previously owned must be turned in 
  • Obeying laws and answering with truth to their probation officer and the court

What Happens Next
After violating the conditions of your probation you will have to attend a court hearing, also called a “probation revocation hearing.” The judge will hear your case and listen to why the breach occurred, and either choose to make probation terms stricter, permit you to continue the probation the same, or require that you go to jail. An attorney can help you prepare for the hearing and offer advice on what to say and not to say, in addition to representing you during the hearing itself. 

If you need help for a recent probation violation, then now is the time to seek assistance from a seasoned and dedicated attorney. 

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into more information about probation. 

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