Probation is an agreement between you and a judge that you will ascribe to certain conditions in exchange for being able to live in your own home and with your loved ones, rather than go to jail. Probation allows those charged with a crime to maintain certain privileges and avoid prison time. If you’ve violated your probation, keep in mind that it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll go to jail, especially if you have a criminal law attorney there to assist you. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus for advice regarding your case.
Understanding What Probation Is
Probation is a possible consequence of being charged with a crime. There are two main ways that someone is found guilty: either by a judge and jury at a trial, or if you plead guilty to a crime and are sentenced. Probation allows the person who is convicted of a crime to live in their own home and community while agreeing to special conditions. The sentence lasts for a certain length of time and involves supervision by a probation officer, who will confirm you uphold the agreement. Typically, a probation sentence involves the following conditions:
- Regularly correspond with the probation officer, whether in-person or by phone
- Do not break any laws
- Perform community service when required
- Abide to weapon restrictions
- Attend counseling if ordered
- Pay all fines and court fees
- Appear for every court date
Probation terms are not the same for all cases: you will need to work closely with an attorney to review your agreement and ensure you understand all requirements. For instance, some individuals may be asked to take drug testing or receive a mental health evaluation and follow the recommended treatment.
What Happens at a Court Appearance for a Probation Violation?
Probation is more concerned with rehabilitation. Your judge provided guidelines in the original agreement that you must follow. By following the rules, the probation period will end and your criminal record will reflect your success. If you break the outlined rules, whether intentionally or accidentally, you may be subject to further consequences. The probation officer will file a notice that you violated probation and schedule a court appearance. You must attend this meeting, or the judge will issue an arrest warrant.
During the first court date, the judge may set a bond depending on your reasons for being on probation and the reasons the violation was filed. A major influence on the outcome is whether an individual has violated probation before.
After addressing the bond issue, the court may provide another opportunity to continue your probation, or may schedule a hearing for the judge to decide if you violated the probation. During this hearing, the judge only needs to listen to the evidence that you violated probation to determine additional consequences for your sentence.
Call An Attorney Right Away
If you have been accused of violating your probation order, having an attorney at your side can make a difference. Talk to our lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus to review your case.