What is the Penalty for Violating Probation?

If you have been placed on probation for committing a criminal offense, you will be released back into the community…but under multiple conditions and restrictions. For instance, you may be required to undergo regular drug testing, electronic monitoring, and meetings with a probation officer. Your conditions will depend largely on the underlying offense, but one thing applies across the board to everyone on probation – intentionally violating your probation carries serious consequences.

If you fail to comply with the conditions of your probation, the penalties can range from a warning to imprisonment. Warnings are usually reserved for minor, technical offenses. In some instances, an individual may violate his or her probation unintentionally. If the unintentional violation is minor, the response may be little more than a slap on the wrist. But this is the exception, not the rule. The potential penalties below illustrate the importance of adhering to the restrictions of your probation.

  • Probation hearing: If you have received a warning for a similar violation in the past, or your violation is more serious, you may be ordered to appear at a probation hearing. At this hearing, the judge will determine whether you violated the terms of your probation and, if so, what your penalty should be.
  • Additional probation restrictions: If the judge finds you to be in violation of your probation, he or she has the option of extending the length of your probation, or adding additional restrictions to your probation. In doing so, the judge will consider the underlying offense, the type of violation(s), and past violations / criminal history.
  • Fines: The judge may also order you to pay fines in addition to, or in lieu of, extended or “beefed up” probation. This may occur even if you’ve already paid hefty fines.
  • Time behind bars: You may be sentenced to jail time or imprisonment if the severity of your underlying offense and / or the violation deem it necessary. Your jail sentence may be even longer than it would have been if you hadn’t been granted probation in the first place.

Of course, as with criminal convictions, probation terms and revocation of probation can be appealed. A Boston defense attorney can help you determine how to move forward if you find yourself in this situation.

Common Probation Violations

There are many ways of violating your probation. Some violations are minor, while others are even more serious than the original offense. Although each case is different, the examples below are among the most common reasons individuals find themselves staring in the face of a probation violation.

  • Failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance.
  • Failing to report to your probation officer at a schedule time and / or place.
  • Failing to pay court ordered fines or restitution (payment to victims).
  • Traveling out of state without your probation officer’s permission.
  • Visiting prohibited places or people.
  • Drug possession or use.
  • Selling illegal drugs.
  • Committing a criminal offense.
  • Getting arrested, whether for a criminal or a non-criminal offense.

If you have violated the terms of your probation, a MA defense attorney can help you get yourself back on track.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Criminal Defense Law Firm

If you have been charged with any type of crime, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Our attorneys will analyze the details of your case before moving forward. We have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we understand that even good people make mistakes. Don’t make another one by hiring the wrong attorney. We have more than 50 years’ experience protecting the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses. If you find yourself in a similar situation, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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