Probation in criminal law is a period of supervision over a convicted offender instead of serving time in prison, as ordered by the court. If you violate the law or committed a felony or misdemeanor and are put on probation instead of facing jail time, you must conform with the rules of the probation for a misdemeanor. Violating probation is considered a serious offense and it may lead to a harsher sentence.
Types of Probation Violations
After you have been arrested, convicted, and sentenced to probation, you must obey all the things listed in the court order because failure to comply will be classified as a violation. The type of probation violation depends on what kind of parole and probation you were put into, but some examples are:
- Commission of another crime or offense (homicide, manslaughter, rape, etc)
- Testing positive or missing a drug test, drug possession or selling illegal drugs
- Being drunk or drinking alcohol if stated in the order
- Going to people or places if there is a restraining order or if prohibited by the probation order
- Possession of a firearm if prohibited
- Failure to complete community service or counseling
- Failure to pay court fines, fees, and restitution
- Removal of any security monitoring device
- Failure to check-in with the judge or probation officer as well as appear in court scheduled
- Failure to comply with court orders
You must be careful and follow the rules because a violation of probation may lead to a “petition to revoke probation” or probation revocation pursuant to Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. A warrant may also be issued immediately for your arrest and you will be held non-bondable or not allowed to post bail until the violation proceeding is finished.
Probation Violation Proceeding
If the probationer violates the rules, the probation officers may issue a warning or compel your appearance in the criminal court for a hearing or pretrial. Once probation is violated and after the warning or request to appear in court is issued, a probation hearing will be set in motion and you will undergo a trial for the judge to consider whether you violated any condition of your probation. Witnesses may be brought in and the prosecution will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a violation was indeed made. The defendant has the following rights:
- Right against self-incrimination
- Right to a public hearing
- Right to call a witness and compel their attendance
- Right to confront and examine witnesses
- Right to present your evidence
However, a right to a jury trial is not within the rights that defendants have.
After a verdict is released by the judge, if you plead guilty or are found guilty, a revision to your probation may be done such as the probation period being increased, house arrest, jail time, and other additional punishment. If you are deemed not guilty, the original terms of probation will remain.
Consulting Defense Attorneys
Probation for a person convicted of felonies may last up to five years and for a misdemeanor conviction, the probation period may last up to two years. If you are charged with a probation violation, contact a probation violation lawyer or a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Doing so is highly advised because the penalties may lead to incarceration or higher fines, additional community service, and a stricter probation sentence. We at The Law Office of Howard A. Snader, LLC consider your freedom to be very important. We know that every case is unique, and as your legal counsel, we guide you through the process that the lawsuit may involve as well as negotiate and prepare you for hearing and trials if need be. Call us now for a free legal consultation.