What Happens If You Violate Probation?

Probation is almost like a second chance for those facing jail time after a conviction. People who follow the conditions set by the judge can continue living life as close to normal as possible, with some stipulations. However, it’s easy to enjoy that freedom a little too much and may accidentally violate the terms of their probation. Whether that means going back to jail, or facing different consequences depends on the severity of the original offense and the violation. 

What is Probation?

You may be sentenced to probation if you have been convicted of a crime. This is an alternative to incarceration and comes with many stipulations that must be met in order to serve your sentence within the comfort of your home. The conditions of probation usually depend on the circumstances that led to the charges and can range from community service, to regular drug testing, counseling, or limiting your ability to travel. Violating probation can be intentional or accidental, but working with an attorney and a probation officer can help you understand the conditions to prevent further legal issues.

Violating Probation

An unfortunate, but common consequence of violating probation includes incarceration. However, it’s not always easy to meet the conditions of probation because a criminal charge can impact many aspects of your life. For example, after impacting your criminal record, conviction could cause you to lose your job or license, making it difficult to report to your probation officer, pay fines, complete community service or any other court-mandated conditions. This is an unfair cycle that happens to many people, which is why it’s so important to work with a defense attorney as early as possible.

More often than not, probation violations are a result of a misunderstanding. For example, a “failure to report” could be a simple miscommunication or a scheduling conflict. A defense attorney can improve the outcome of your case and help you understand the legal parameters of your probation. In the best of scenarios, an attorney can negotiate with the court for better terms or prevent the revocation of probation in the event of a violation. 

However, some probation violations are considered more serious than others. For example, if you fail a drug test or don’t complete court-mandated treatment, it may result in revocation of probation and lead to incarceration. A defense attorney can attempt to continue negotiations for a reduced sentence, but it’s not always possible.

Additional Consequences

As if probation was not already punishment enough, a probation violation can have long-term consequences as well. For example, it can further impact your criminal record, which could prevent you from obtaining certain jobs, and potential housing opportunities, or negatively affect the outcome of future unrelated legal matters.

Of course, the most important thing to remember is that your best chance at a positive outcome under any circumstance is to have an aggressive and effective legal team with your back. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, it’s best to seek legal assistance immediately. For questions and guidance regarding probation or criminal charges, reach out to the office of Charles A. Banker online, or call (713) 227-4100 for a consultation.

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The Law Offices of Charles A. Banker, III

Our firm’s founder, Charles A. Banker III, has been a solo criminal defense practitioner with offices in Houston and McAllen, TX for over 30 years. He understands what it means to work independently in today’s hyperconnected world, but he also knows that sometimes you need to lean on others.

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