Probation can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you approach it. On the one hand, it's a chance to avoid jail time and keep your record clean. On the other hand, it can be a minefield of rules and regulations that, if violated, can send you straight to incarceration. If you find yourself in the latter category, don't despair.
I'm here to help! As a qualified probation violation attorney in Oakland, California, I know how to help you avoid probation violations in the first place and what to do if you slip up. Contact my firm, Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office, for trusted legal assistance and advocacy.
Probation is not a free pass after you’ve committed a crime. It’s a set of rules and requirements that you must follow to stay out of jail. Probation violations come with heavy consequences, including legal penalties and jail time.
Here are some of the most common ways people violate their probations:
There are two major types of probation violations: substantive violations and technical violations.
These violations involve committing a new crime while on probation.
For example, if you're on probation for DUI and get caught driving under the influence again, you'd be in violation of your probation.
Other examples of substantive violations include assault, theft, and drug offenses. If you do commit a substantive violation, you'll likely have to go back to jail and serve the remainder of your original sentence.
Technical violations don't involve committing a new crime, but rather, breaking the rules of your probation.
Examples of technical violations include missing a meeting with your probation officer, failing a drug test, or traveling out of state without permission. While technical violations may not seem as serious as substantive violations, they can still result in consequences like community service or jail time.
Breaking probation can lead to severe consequences. Let's explore what happens when you violate your probation.
The first consequence of violation is receiving a warning or notice to appear in court. When you are given probation, you are given a specific set of requirements that you must meet, such as attending counseling or staying away from certain individuals.
If you fail to meet these requirements, a probation officer may issue a warning or notice to appear in court.
This typically alerts the individual to take the necessary actions to rectify the issue, such as completing counseling sessions or staying away from negative influences. The intent is to get the individual back on track with probation requirements and avoid further consequences.
If a warning or notice goes unheeded or the violation is more severe, such as committing a new crime, a probation officer may file a report with the court. The court will then determine whether there has been a probation violation.
This phase involves a fact-finding process that includes a probation violation hearing where the accused is expected to present their case. Failure to attend the hearing could result in a default judgment against you.
If there is a determination of a violation, there is no fixed penalty. Sentencing varies according to the severity of the violation and whether there has been a history of violations. Unfortunately, the sentences for probation violations can be more severe than those for the initial crime.
Typical sentences for probation violations include:
If you’re facing a potential probation violation charge anywhere in Northern California, it’s important to take immediate action and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. From the initial consultation to the courtroom verdict, my team and I will work closely with you to make sure your rights are properly protected. Contact Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office in Oakland, California, today so I can protect your rights and defend your freedoms.