For many defendants, probation is a godsend. When it isn’t possible to avoid a conviction, probation is often considered “the next best thing” because it allows the individual to avoid jail.

The only problem is that many defendants are unprepared for the harsh realities of life on probation. Probation can be very restrictive. They may be required to do things like:

  • Get their General Education Diploma (GED)
  • Perform community service for a specific number of hours
  • Obtain gainful employment and keep their job
  • Pay specific fines, fees and restitution
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol monitoring
  • Attend anger management or drug abuse counseling

The adjustment to life on probation isn’t always a smooth one. Violations of the terms are common. Many defendants are surprised when their “friendly probation officer” turns out to be a stickler for the rules.

If you’re accused of violating your probation, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for how the court will handle the issue when your probation officer informs them of the violation. The judge is free to consider factors like the nature of your transgression, your history of compliance (or lack of compliance) in the past and any mitigating circumstances that may make the situation understandable.

If you’re charged with violating probation, you stand a substantial risk of going to jail. You may also lose your probation entirely and have to serve the remainder of your sentence behind bars. Defenses are available, however, and you have a right to attorney representation during your hearing. Enlist an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you as quickly as possible.