Did you know that the US justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in various state prisons and county jails? And out of that, 168,000 people were incarcerated for technical violations of parole or probation. That’s a high percentage of people who are violating probation for various unmentioned reasons.
But what happens if you violate probation and can you violate probation and not go to jail? These are some of the questions that are probably swirling in your head right now. Let’s keep reading or visit for more information at this website to find answers to these important questions.
What Is Probation?
Probation is a type of criminal sentence that is served by an offender instead of a complete jail sentence. In fact, probation is usually handed out to offenders for good behavior.
For example, if Albert is serving a 10-year sentence for a DUI and displays exemplary behavior while incarcerated, the judge can grant probation to Albert after 8 years. Thus, instead of serving the rest of the 2 years in jail, he could return to his community under the supervision of a probation officer and following other set rules and regulations.
Some of the common rules that apply to an offender’s probation are as follows:
- Cannot commit any other crimes while on probation
- Cannot hang out with or be around other offenders or criminals while on probation
- Cannot excessively use alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances
- Cannot own or possess any firearms or other weapons
- Has to submit to drug testing
- Has to provide support to any minors or dependants
- Has to obtain gainful employment
- Has to attend a drug or alcohol rehab program, if applicable
- Has to register as a sex offender, if applicable
- Has to reside in a certain geographical location and not leave the area without informing the probation officer
- Has to stay in strict and full contact with the probation officer with regular face-to-face meetings
- Has to comply with any other court orders as applicable to the specific offender
As you can see, even though it’s worth being out on probation as you can be out in the real world again with family and friends, it can be a tough regime to follow. The court can literally lay out as many legally proper conditions that it thinks are necessary.
What Is a Probation Violation?
Anytime an offender who’s out on probation doesn’t follow any of the rules laid out in the conditions of his/her probation, he violates his probation. Some common violations to be aware of are as follows:
- Failing to appear at court hearings
- Failing to report to your probation officer
- Failing to pay certain fines or fees imposed upon you
- Failing to avoid other criminals or offenders
- Failing to keep steady employment
- Failing to support minors or dependants
- Visiting places or people who you are restricted from visiting
- Going out of state or leaving a geographical location when not allowed to do so
- Committing any other crime
- Failing to complete any rehab program or community service assigned to you
- Using, possessing, or selling any illegal drugs, weapons, or other controlled substances
As long as you follow the rules laid out on the probation conditions, you have nothing to worry about (more on that later).
What Happens If You Violate Probation?
As you can imagine, if you violate any of the rules of the probation, the judge can decide to send you back to jail to complete your full sentence. But if it’s a minor infraction, it could just result in stricter rules, or more conditions on your probation list.
Some other possible consequences of violating probation are:
- The judge might impose the maximum sentence on you after revoking probation
- The judge might impose some additional community service on you
- The judge might extend the probation term length
- The judge might send you back to prison for a short period of time
The punishment invoked on you after a probation violation is entirely dependent upon the judge and how severe they deem your infraction to be. If this is your first probation violation, you will be given more leniency as opposed to your fifth or tenth time violating probation. But you can violate probation and not go to jail, but have some other penalty imposed upon you.
Find a Probation Violation Attorney
Unfortunately, many offenders on probation complain that the probation conditions set up for them are so numerous and so hard to follow, that the courts are basically setting them up to fail. This results in ‘minor’ infractions of the conditions, like breaking curfew, or not paying the fines, and can result in the offender being sent back to jail or their previous sentence.
Some prison activists believe that the probation system should be set up to reward and support success (positive reinforcement) instead of punishing violations or infractions of probation conditions (negative reinforcement). It would be a better use of the system and would avoid all these unnecessary additional infractions due to probation violations.
If you are dealing with a probation violation and would like some additional assistance in dealing with courts, then consider hiring a probation violation attorney that is professional.
Read more about how they can help you reduce your probation term and get back out into your community faster. Or they can even persuade the judge to avoid sending you back to prison and modify your probation instead.
Violating Probation Shouldn’t Mean the End of the Line for You
There is a reason why an offender is given the divine chance to go on probation. They displayed outstanding behavior for years on end for them to receive such a concession.
That’s why it’s not fair that violating probation (sometimes due to some unforeseen circumstance) can cause you to lose out on such an opportunity to get back to your family and friends. That’s why you need to consult a probation violation attorney and get them to convince the judges that you deserve another chance.