Probation is a type of deferred sentence where the defendant is given a jail term but is allowed to function in the community instead of going to jail. An example would be if a judge delivers a sentence of 12 months in jail but suspends that sentence for 24 months. The defendant would be on probation for 24 months, visiting a probation officer as required, paying fines and performing other requirements before being released from the suspended sentence. Probation does not mean that the defendant is innocent. The defendant is still guilty of the charges, but the judge makes the decision that it is in the best interest of the defendant to have a chance to prove that no other crimes will be committed and that the person can abide by regulations that are set forth by the court.
Unfortunately, there are violations that could result in the defendant going to jail for the length of the original sentence. There are times when the structure of the probation is easier to violate than others, especially if the defendant is placed on an intense sentence where drug tests, community service and being at home by a certain time are regulations of the probation. At times, a judge will order the defendant to spend time in jail and then be placed on probation. According to Criminal Justice Degree Hub, there are some people who will violate the terms of their probation so that they can go to jail because the length of time in jail is often shorter than being on probation. When the defendant gets out of jail, there aren’t any more regulations to follow, and the person can go about living life in a normal fashion.
Violations Of Probation
There are different types of violations depending on where the defendant lives. Probation is often governed by the state government but can be governed by the federal government depending on the crime committed according to FindLaw. In simple terms, a violation of probation is when you intentionally ignore the regulations that you’re given. At times, you might unintentionally violate your probation. An example might be if you miss an office visit because of an emergency or because you thought that you were supposed to go to the office one day and it was really scheduled for another date. If you do something that would violate your probation but don’t intend to commit the act, you need to contact your officer as soon as possible. On the other hand, if you intentionally ignore what you’re supposed to do, then the officer can submit documents that will violate you. Some officers will find any way possible to issue a violation while others will look at each issue to see if there is a solution or a reason before making a decision to issue a violation.
Just because you’re violated one time doesn’t mean that you’ll go to jail right away. The judge will need to look at the evidence, and you’ll have to go back to court to find out if you’re going to be given a second chance or if your probation will be revoked, which would mean going to jail. Some of the ways that you could violate probation include failing multiple drug tests, not paying fines, not going to court dates or not being home by the time designated in your paperwork. The defendant could also violate the terms of probation by having contact with certain people without permission by the officer or who were involved with the original crime. If the defendant is arrested for another crime while on probation, then it’s usually an automatic violation and can sometimes result in immediately going back to jail to serve the original sentence.
Penalties for Probation Violations
When the defendant violates the terms of probation, there isn’t a set routine that is followed. The probation officer will look at your history and the circumstances surrounding the violation before making a recommendation as to what should happen. At times, the officer might recommend that the defendant is given another chance to show that the violation was a mistake. At other times, the officer could recommend that the violation results in an extension of the original probation term. If the officer doesn’t think that the defendant will do anything different, then jail would be a recommendation.
Defenses To Probation Violations
With the assistance of an attorney, such as those at Spodek Law Group, there are a few defenses that can be filed for a probation violation. If the violation is because of a failure to pay fines, then the attorney can file that the defendant is indigent and unable to pay the required amount in full at one time. Defendants who fail to report for an office visit could claim that there was no transportation, there was an issue with a work schedule or that the officer wouldn’t see the defendant because of being late. Other defenses for common violations include drugs being in the system because they are prescribed, causing the defendant to fail a drug test or that the drugs were in the system before the defendant was sentenced. Without the help of an attorney, it’s sometimes hard to defend against probation violation claims.