What Happens if I Violate My Probation?
In some situations, a judge may choose to sentence a person who has been convicted of a crime to probation instead of jail time. Probation allows a person to live in the community, work, and engage in other “normal” activities, albeit with certain conditions. In the event that a person who is on probation violates the terms of his or her probation, it can result in serious legal consequences. Fortunately, allegations of violating your probation are just that – allegations – and the state is required to prove probation violations by a preponderance of the evidence, and you have the right to defend yourself at a probation hearing.
Examples of Probation Violations
So, what kinds of conduct can result in a probation violation? Of course, that all depends on the terms of your probation. Judges can impose a wide variety of conditions of probation, provided that they are reasonable and bear a rational relationship to the offense of which you have been convicted. Some examples of conduct that could violate the terms of your probation include:
- Failure to attend SATOP or other court-ordered programs
- Using drugs or drinking alcohol
- Breaking the law
- Traveling out of state without permission from the probation officer or court
- Failing to pay fines or court costs within a certain period of time
- Associating with certain people
- Failing to report to your probation officer
What Can Happen if You Violate Your Probation?
If you violate the terms of your probation, it can result in severe legal consequences that you want to avoid. In fact, if your probation was part of a plea deal that resulted in the dismissal of your case at the end of its term, a probation violation can result in a completely avoidable criminal conviction on your record. Some of the possible consequences of a probation violation include:
- An extension of your probation
- Stricter probation terms
- Shock time
- The imposition or execution of a suspended sentence
An Attorney May Be Able to Help
It’s important to understand that, probation officers, prosecutors, and judges all have significant discretion when it comes to making decisions about how to respond to an alleged probation violation. As a result, the counsel and representation of an attorney can have a significant impact on how your case is resolved. In fact, a lawyer may be able to help you avoid a probation revocation hearing at all. As a result, you should retain legal counsel as soon you become aware of the fact that you are facing allegations of violating the terms of your probation.
If You’ve Been Accused of Violating the Terms of Your Probation, Call Us Today to Speak with a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney
A probation violation can result in severe consequences. As a person accused of violating the terms of your probation, it’s important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself and that the state must prove its case against you. For this reason, it’s critical that you retain an attorney to represent you at your hearing. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our criminal defense lawyers in St. Louis, call our office today at 314-646-0066 or contact us online.