In most circumstances, probationary terms come along with a conviction for a criminal offense. The terms of probation can often be tedious and difficult to manage. As you are trying to get your life back together after a conviction, you might accidently forget about a meeting with your probation officer. Another way you might violate the terms of your probation is by crossing state or county lines without permission. Regardless of how you violate probation, the consequences are usually serious.
If your probation officer has accused you of not following the rules of your probation, you need to take immediate steps to protect your rights. A criminal defense attorney in the Atlantic City area can help you fight against probation violation charges. Below is information on how and when probation can be violated.
Ways you can violate your probation
In general, people violate their probation by willfully ignoring, dodging, or flat out refusing to follow the terms. In reality, if you do anything that breaks the terms of your probation during the time the rules are in effect, the court will consider it a violation. That means if your probation lasts for two years, the court expects you to adhere to the terms for the entire time.
Common ways people violate probation requirements include not showing up to ordered court appearances, failing to report to your probation officer, traveling without permission and engaging in illegal conduct.
Consequences for a violation
Depending on the severity of your violation, your probation officer might only issue you a warning. However, if the violation is severe or it is a repeat offense, the officer may demand that you attend a court hearing. If you have to go to court for a hearing on a probation violation, you could face some kind of punishment, including jail time.
Your legal rights
If your probation officer orders a court hearing, you should speak with an attorney beforehand. Knowing your rights before you set foot in the courtroom can help you avoid having more punishments tacked onto your current probation. Usually, the court should send you, in writing, details of the violation claim. You also have the right to present your case to an impartial judge. Furthermore, you have the right to have a lawyer present that can present evidence to defend you.
If your probation officer has accused you of violating the terms of your probation, it is important to take action as soon as possible to protect yourself. For help defending against such a claim, contact an Atlantic City attorney and get the help you need.