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Probation is an alternative to a jail or prison sentence that allows someone convicted of a crime to continue their normal life while under the supervision of a court. The trade-off for this freedom is that the probationer is supervised by an officer of the court who sets conditions for their continued release. All probation cases have different conditions, but breaking any of the rules set by the court results in the criminal category named probation violations.
Probation violations can result in the probationer being arrested to face the court. A violation will result in the revision of the terms of probation, which can include stricter terms for the duration of probation. It can also result in a prison term, or the revocation of probation and an equivalent jail sentence.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a probation violation, your first step should be to obtain release from jail so you can fight the charges. Call The Better Bail now!
What are the Common Terms of Probation?
Some common conditions of probation include regular check-ins with a probation officer, who will keep tabs on your actions and check your progress. The court may assign counseling sessions or visits to support groups, especially if the crime is substance-related like a DUI.
Random drug tests are also a common condition of probation, with the regularity depending on the crime and the probationer's history. Probationers often have travel restrictions, but this can be flexible depending on the probationer's job. Common restrictions involve staying within the home state, although more restrictive conditions are possible.
Probationers are often expected to make restitution for their crimes. This can include the return of stolen property or payment of fines. A set number of community service hours at approved non-profits is also common. Additionally, there may be restrictions on associations, such as a ban on probationers fraternizing with anyone who has had a criminal conviction.
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Common Causes of Probation Violations
A probation violation can happen because of any breach in the terms of probation, but the most common type is a failed random drug test. This can also result in additional drug charges beyond the violation, which may affect the bond. Missing a meeting with the probation officer is a common cause of violation, although judges may be forgiving if the probationer can show legitimate cause for a delay.
Violation of fraternization or travel regulations can cause a violation, and these are likely to result in harsher sanctions unless the probationer can prove an accidental violation. At the end of a probation term, the probationer's compliance with long-term obligations like community service will be assessed.
Consequence of a Probation Violation
Upon a probation violation, the probationer is arrested barring the discretion of the probation officer. This functions similarly to any other arrest, as the probationer will be held in jail until arraignment and bond is set. Bond may be denied for serious or repeated violations and the probationer will be held until a trial or the conclusion of the sentence.
The average bail for a probation violation can be as little as $500 or as much as $10,000. For the higher sums, a surety bond is the easiest way to get the probationer out of jail with the help of a bail bondsman. At the probation hearing, there is no right to a jury hearing and the judge will make the decision whether to increase conditions or revoke probation.
As probation is typically given for misdemeanor or low-level felony crimes, the maximum sentence for a probation violation can be one to three years in prison. This can be extended if the violation causes additional charges.
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