People who have been convicted of a crime will sometimes be sentenced to probation. This program enables them to remain in the community, but they are under the supervision of an officer. There are many conditions that they must meet in order to remain in good standing. Failure to meet these requirements can result in a probation violation.
A probation violation is a serious matter. There are many things that can lead a probation officer to file one. In an effort to avoid facing this charge, any probationer should be honest with their supervising officer and adhere to the terms of probation.
Examples of probation violations
When they come into the probation program, each participant gets a list of what they are allowed to do and what is prohibited. Many of these are standard across all cases. These include things like finding and holding a job, staying out of legal trouble and avoiding contact with known felons. It is also possible for them to have special conditions, such as taking random or scheduled drug tests.
Probationers also have to report to their officer on a regular schedule. This can occur in person or by phone, depending on the officer’s wishes and the terms of the program. Officers usually verify that court-ordered fines and other requirements are met. If they see that a probationer isn’t meeting their requirements, they will usually work with them to correct the issue.
While probation officers can file a violation for any non-compliance issue, many will give the probationer a chance to get back on track. They may take the circumstances around the violation into account, so honesty about what’s going on can be beneficial.
When a violation is filed
When a violation is filed with the court, the probationer will have to face a judge. An arrest could occur, depending on the circumstances. Unlike many other criminal matters, probation violations aren’t handled through a jury trial. Instead, they are resolved through a bench trial in which the person has to face the judge.
The standard the judge considers is whether there is a preponderance of evidence that a violation occurred. This means that they determine whether there is at least a 50% chance it happened. If they find it did, the judge will issue a sentence for the violation. This can include a revocation of probation and incarceration.
Even though this matter doesn’t go before a jury, the probationer still has the right to have attorney representation. Making sure you use that right can be critical.