In my last blog post I discussed the types of probation and how to set yourself up for probation success. What if, despite your best intentions, you didn’t succeed though? You somehow ended up violating the terms of your probation. You feel panic setting in and start to wonder how bad this really is? Will your probation be revoked? Will there be other consequences as well?
Once your probation has been violated, you will be scheduled for a court date to go in front of a judge for a Probation Revocation Hearing. This is not one of those times you want to go into the court room representing yourself. Violating your probation can be a very serious matter and should never be handled without an experienced attorney.
Much like the original crime that dictated the terms of your probation, that same original charge will determine the severity of the penalities you will now face. If you are on probation for a traffic ticket, you probably don’t have much to worry about. If you are on probation for a misdomeaner or felony, however, your probation revocation is a very diffferent and likely, a much more serious matter.
When I meet with clients about a violated probation, the first thing I have to find out is the original charge- stealing, drugs, DWI, domestic assualt? Again, this is critical information. This indicates to me the range of punishment the client is now facing.
Next, I need to know how your probation was violated. Did you fail a drug test? Did you not complete a required class or your community service on time? Was it a financial issue? Were you unable to pay your court costs and fines on time?
Sometimes the penality for a probation violation can be as simple as a fine or additional classes or community service hours. In more serious cases, it can absolutely mean jail/prison time. The important thing to realize is each situation is different and highly dependent on the circumstances surrounding you and your case.