Probation is a privilege (not a right) defined as a form of community supervision that requires an offender to abide by court-ordered terms and conditions in lieu of a sentence of incarceration. Its principal function is the rehabilitation of a defendant and the protection of society.
When a defendant willfully and substantially fails to comply with the terms and conditions of their probationary sentence, he or she is violating their probation. These terms and conditions are established by the court, and they can vary on a case-by-case basis.
Some of the more common terms and conditions that probationers must comply with are:
- Reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis.
- Not engaging in criminal activity.
- Giving the probations officer permission to visit.
- Remaining employed during the probationary sentence.
- Staying within the city or other area as ordered by the court.
- Submitting to drug and alcohol testing.
Other terms and conditions may be ordered depending on the case. The probation officer is the person who typically reports for violation of probation. If a judge determines that a violation could have occurred, they will issue a warrant for the offender´s arrest.
Penalties For Probation Violation.
If the offender violated their probation, the judge has the authority to revoke the probation and impose any penalty that could have been imposed for committing the initial crime.
A judge may reinstate and continue the probation, modify the conditions of the probations, or revoke it. Sentencing may include jail or prison time up to the maximum allowed by law for the charge the offender was originally placed on probation for.
For instance, if the offender is on probation as a result of being convicted of a third-degree felony, they can face up to five years in prison for violating the terms and conditions of the probation.
Some of the elements that the court will be looking at are the facts of the initial charges, the reasons for the violations of probation, the positive aspects and things that the offender has completed on probation, whether there were previous violations, the amount of time the offender has been on probation, and whether or not there is a likelihood of completing the terms and conditions if the offender continues on probation.
All violations of probation cases must be taken seriously. If you or a loved one has been sentenced to probation and/or has committed a probation violation, it is imperative to get in touch with an experienced criminal law attorney to handle your case. Russell Spatz has more than 40 years of experience as a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer.