When people are convicted of criminal offenses, they may face numerous penalties depending on the severity of the crime they have committed. One penalty that is typically imposed is probation. In some circumstances, probation can be used in place of incarceration. Or, perhaps it is part of the sentence that must be served after the person has completed a term of imprisonment. After release, the court wants that individual to be supervised, and he or she is permitted to serve the remainder of the sentence on probation.
Specific Terms of the Probation Must Be Met
Probation violation laws vary among U.S. states and are governed by both federal and state law. Typically, a probation violation occurs when you avoid, ignore, refuse, or otherwise violate the conditions and terms of the probation at any time during the probationary period. Probation generally runs from one to three years, but, depending on the original offense, may also last for several years.
A judge lays out clear and specific terms which the individual on probation must meet. These terms typically include:
- Maintaining contact with their probation officer through scheduled meeting times
- Refraining from alcohol or drugs
- Appearing for scheduled court appearances on set dates and times
- Not breaking any additional laws or getting involved in any new criminal activities
- Staying clear of certain people or places, or not traveling out of state without the permission of the probation officer
- Completing all assigned community service
- Paying restitution as ordered
Any violation of the terms of the probation could lead to the probation being revoked and to an immediate return to prison. Once the probation has been revoked a person may end up serving the rest of their sentence behind bars, with likely negative impacts on their family and their future.
In truth, not all probation violations are intentional. Yet, it is also true that an errant probation violation could put your freedom and future at risk. It is advisable that you seek help from a skilled criminal defense attorney if you been accused of violating or have violated any of the terms of your probation.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
A criminal defense attorney should be able to advise you of your legal rights and encourage you to fulfill your probation obligations. You’ll want a lawyer who will advocate aggressively on your behalf and protect and preserve your rights and best interests.
Your actions and your lawyer’s efforts can help show to the judge that you are accountable and responsible, and that you are making a conscious and decided effort to fulfill the terms of your probation. Then, your attorney can work diligently to convince the judge to allow you to continue your probation and prevent additional prison time.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer and meet with him or her to review your situation. Find an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight hard for you to prevent the revocation of your probation and avoid further restrictions on your freedom. Call to set up a consultation today.