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Understanding Probation: How It Can Be Violated

Location : USA, Los Angeles

Following a conviction, many courts will slap the criminal with probation. While this is an excellent way to avoid spending an entire sentence in jail, probation can be riddled with complexities. If proper care is not taken, a defendant could be charged with probation violation and facing criminal charges all over again. In many scenarios, a defendant who is facing certain conviction will begin to look at ways in which probation can be obtained in lieu of incarceration.

This is different from parole in which a person is released early from jail after having displayed consisted obedient behavior. Probation is literally the testing of character; a person who is given probation is released back into the free world, but it still under court supervision. They will be given specific guidelines that must be followed so ensure that they behave in a manner that is deemed appropriate by the court. These terms will include an inability to own a firearm, possess illegal drugs, and commit another criminal offense, as well as an order to refrain from contacting former victims or fellow criminals, and a ban on the usage of alcohol. Another term of probation is the mandatory placement of an electronic tag on the person which allows the probation officer to know their geographical location at all times. In this way, a person who is placed under probation is given a “test” of sorts which allows officials to see how they will behave once they are no longer placed under the severe restrictions of a jail setting.

Probation gives a criminal a chance to readjust themselves into normal society, to straighten out their path so that they can become productive and valued members of society. Unfortunately, violation is all too easy to commit. The terms and demands of probation can be complex and even the most minor slip-up will cause devastating consequences. Both law enforcement and prosecutors are waiting for the smallest of mistakes to slap you with penalties once more. They will already be in the mindset that a criminal will commit an offense again and will take no convincing that you are a guilty party. There are several different ways in which a criminal can commit a probation violation. For example, probation can be violated by not appearing at court when there has been a specific time and date set; failing to report to a probation officer at the specified date and time; refusing to pay monetary fines that have been ordered by the court; conversing and socializing with people that the terms of probation have deemed as off-limits; possessing and/or using controlled substances or illegal drugs; and committing and becoming arrested for either a similar offense or a different crime. If you have recently been criminally charged for having violated your probation, you do not have a moment to lose.

There is a wide variety of responses that can occur after a violation, and while a probation officer might let you off with a warning, there is an excellent chance that you will be faced with the mandatory attendance at a probation violation hearing. Here, you could possibly be ordered into incarceration or face other, similarly difficult penalties. You cannot be flippant with the criminal process at a time such as this. You will already have a blemish on your criminal record – it is vastly important that you do not fail to do everything possible to avoid another one. Therefore, contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the best thing that you could possibly do for yourself. The sooner that you are able to receive comprehensive legal assistance, the sooner you can breathe easier by knowing you have an advocate on your side willing to go the distance in their efforts to protect you.