When you are convicted of a crime, the judge may put you on probation with certain terms and conditions to complete in lieu of serving all or some of an active jail sentence. Individuals who are convicted of a crime may receive a suspended jail sentence and be placed on probation with some or all the jail sentenced suspended until they complete terms and conditions of probation as ordered by the court. Probation may be terminated early because of good behavior and petitioning the court to modify or terminate probation. Individuals placed on probation may be required to follow strict and comprehensive rules as ordered by the court. Breaking rules of probation means a violation of probation, which can lead to a Rule to Show Cause or a Bench Warrant being issued against you. Coming back to court on a probation violation before the very judge that previously sentenced you can have serious and long-lasting consequences. If you have been charged with a probation violation in Circuit Court, General District Court or Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, it is crucial that you choose a highly-skilled attorney to handle your case.
What Constitutes Violation of Probation?
Probation can be violated for a multitude of reasons, either involuntarily or voluntarily. Sometimes, people act recklessly and unfortunately violate the terms of their probation. Other times people were not explained the rules of their probation clearly enough and end up making a mistake that places them on the receiving end of a violation of probation. Either way, violating probation is often frustrating and fear-inducing. If you are convicted of violating your probation, you may be sentenced by the court to spend some, if not all your originally suspended sentence in jail or in prison. However, this may not be the case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., are extremely well-versed in violation of probation charges, and will build a strong case to avoid potential jail time or the duration of probation being extended, additional terms of probation being imposed and other penalties.
Sometimes, probation rules are not fully explained to individuals or the probation rules are not fully understood. This can also result in a violation of probation. Other times, the rules are fully explained but they are very difficult to follow. For example, if you fail to report to your probation officer even though you are unable to come to the probation office that day, you may be charged with violation of probation. Another common way to violate your probation is to not pay the court costs and fines, or the probation office's supervision fee. Probation may also be violated by committing a new crime, consuming alcohol or drugs, violating ignition interlock device requirements, failure to complete court ordered program(s), failure to pay restitution or having contact with someone you were ordered not to have contact with, either directly or indirectly.
Penalties of Probation Violation
Violating your probation may give you the following consequences:
- Adding additional terms and conditions to your existing probation requirements
- Revoke your probation and order you to serve the original sentence in jail or prison.
- Continuance on probation and imposing some of your previously suspended jail or prison term
- Extend probation (under the same guidelines) for a longer period than what was originally sentenced
- Revoking your restricted driver's license
How to Defend Against Violation of Probation
If you violated your probation because you did not pay your fines and costs, your attorney may be able to successfully have your probation violation dismissed in that that you can now pay the fines and costs in full or alternatively, petition the court to continue the probation violation to have your case placed in the payment option program with the clerk's office. Additionally, if your criminal defense attorney can prove that you are unable to financially pay the court costs associated with your case, your probation violation may also be dismissed upon you being placed in the community service program in lieu of paying costs. If you have committed a new crime, your criminal defense attorney at Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., may be able to favorably resolve the new charge so that the successful outcome of that case does not trigger a violation of probation charge. At Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., we are ready to defend you for an allegation of a violation of probation and we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in representing clients in these matters.