Probation can seem like a double-edged sword. You’re not in jail, but you’re required to follow strict guidelines so you don’t violate the terms of your probation. Even something as simple as forgetting to check in with your probation officer (PO) can result in a violation and send you to prison.
When you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, you probably have many questions such as what are the consequences for violating probation and will you have to go to court? The attorneys at the Coolidge Law Firm have the answers.
If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation, you should avoid speaking with law enforcement or your probation officer until you have legal representation present. The Coolidge Law Firm will aggressively fight on your behalf to keep you out of jail.
Schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. Call (919) 239-8448 or submit your information in the online contact form. The Coolidge Law Firm proudly represents clients in every community in Wake County, NC, including Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, and many others.
Common Probation Violations
You are required to abide by the conditions of your probation set by the court to avoid additional consequences. There are many ways you could violate the terms of your probation, but understanding what is considered a violation will help you avoid them in the future. Listed below are some of the most common probation violations:
- Committing another crime: One of the basic terms of probation is that you cannot commit another crime. Even a crime as simple as a traffic violation could be considered a probation violation.
- Missing appointment with probation officer: When you are on supervised probation, you are required to meet with your PO on a regular basis. Missing an appointment is a violation, and your PO could report it to the court.
- Not being employed: Some probation orders may require you to hold a job or be enrolled in school.
- Missing a court hearing: It may be required that you attend court hearings as a condition of your probation. These hearings are used to review your progress.
- Associating with felons: A judge may order you to stay away from convicted felons. You may feel like you have the right to associate with whomever you want, but doing so can result in a violation.
- Failing to pay fines: When you are sentenced for a criminal conviction, a judge will likely order you to pay a fine or restitution. Paying these fines on time is important.
- Failing a drug test: One of the basic terms of probation is submitting to random drug tests. Failing more than one test can result in a violation. Even if you are caught around people doing drugs can result in a probation violation.
Preliminary and Revocation Hearings
When you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, a hearing will be held to determine if you did, in fact, commit a violation. By the time a preliminary hearing is set, you should have legal representation. An attorney can speak on your behalf and present information that proves your alleged violation was a mistake.
A preliminary hearing is different from a typical criminal trial because formal rules of evidence do not apply. This means that the state can provide evidence to the court that would otherwise have been ruled inadmissible. This goes both ways because your attorney can do the same in your defense. If a judge finds that you did not violate the conditions of your probation, you will continue with your original probation conditions.
If a judge finds that you did violate the terms of your probation, then the judge will ask your probation officer what recommendations they are making in your case. You will have the opportunity to explain your situation and ask that the judge permit you to remain on probation. The judge can revoke, modify or extend your probation.
Consequences of Violating Probation
If a judge determines that you violated the terms of your probation, you could have it extended or revoked. For a judge to do this, three conditions must apply:
- A written violation was filed by your probation officer stating their intention to conduct a hearing regarding the violation.
- The court found that you violated the conditions of your probation.
- The court has reason to believe your probation should be modified.
The last thing you want is for a judge to revoke your probation. When this happens, a judge will decide whether or not your violation is worth spending time behind bars. Some of the other consequences of violating the terms of your probation can include the following.
- Continue your probation under the same conditions
- Extend your probation for no more than five years
- Order that you serve a short period of confinement, sometimes referred to as a CRV (Confinement in response to a violation)
- Comply with additional conditions
Additional Resources for Probation Violation
Arrest and Hearing on Probation Violation | North Carolina General Statute– Follow this link to read the laws that govern arrest and hearings for violating the terms of your probation. You can also learn more about suspensions of public assistance for probation violators who avoid arrest and bail following an arrest for a probation violation.
Conditions of Probation | North Carolina General Statutes – Visit the North Carolina General Assembly website to learn more about the conditions of probation. You can find out about community and intermediate probation conditions, regular conditions and special conditions.
Speak to a Probation Violation Attorney
By viewing this page, you already understand the seriousness of a probation violation. The best defense you can take is contacting the Coolidge Law Firm. Lead attorney David A. Coolidge is a tough negotiator who will strive to get you out of jail.
To schedule a time to speak with the Coolidge Law Firm more about your case, call (919) 239-8448 or submit your information in the online contact form. We proudly defend clients in every community in Wake County, NC, including Cary, Apex, Garner, Raleigh, Wake Forest and many more.