Probation and Violation Consequences

Probation is a sentence given to individuals who have been convicted of relatively minor offense(s) or those who are first-time offenders. This is also an opportunity for people to demonstrate that they are ready to go straight and do what is necessary to stay out of jail.

The United States has a system of criminal law that is different from that of other countries. In the U.S., judges, and prosecutors can use their discretion not only at the sentencing stage but also at the charging stage — deciding whether or how to charge an offender with a crime. In that case, the prosecutor has decided that you show promise and can still be a contributing member of society.

Probation is a chance to turn your life around. If you agree to specific terms, you can avoid incarceration and begin to rebuild your life. You have been given a break. You are still being watched and held responsible. Your freedom is still at stake. Do not smile just yet; you still have something to lose.

If you are on probation, the court has undoubtedly added several conditions you must follow.

Following Probation Decrees

While you are on probation, you are subject to special rules. You must meet regularly with a probation officer and report to the office when instructed. You cannot leave the state without permission from your probation officer. Conditions can also include maintaining employment, drug tests, community service, counseling, and more.

To keep the defendant on a good path, the court creates a specialized probationary plan tailored to their needs. This is not a punishment but a punitive measure to reinforce their return to society.

Though, if you do not follow these mandates, or if your probation officer finds out that you have committed a crime, such as possessing a controlled substance… They will notify the court and request an immediate hearing.

Violation and Revocation

Once a violation has been reported by an officer, the prosecutor makes the next move.   If a defendant, in this case, violates the terms of their probation, the state can seek to revoke the probation. The case then proceeds as in any criminal matter, with the state required to prove its claim and the court deciding whether to revoke probation.

Or, more briefly – If you willingly, knowingly, and substantially violate your release’s terms, the judge can send you back to jail.

Probation can be revoked by a judge if the state shows that there is more than a 50 percent chance that the defendant violated one or more conditions of probation. This is a lower standard than what must be met to convict someone in criminal court, where guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re facing such a case, don’t fail to reach out. We at Valrico Law specialize in defending cases just like yours. Don’t worry; we’re here to help.