Following your arrest, you probably spent a great deal of time worried about how it would all turn out. In your worst imaginings, the judge sent you away for years, effectively destroying your chances of having a meaningful future. However, you were fortunate that the judge sentenced you to probation.
Your probation probably included a list of specific terms explaining what you can and cannot do during the period of your sentence. If you break any of the rules, it is a violation of your probation and can lead to serious consequences.
Many look upon probation as a gift when compared to the alternative. Instead of months or years in jail, you are free to set your own schedule and do what you want within the terms of the order. You would undoubtedly do everything you can to avoid violating your probation and the subsequent penalties. Some examples of potential probation violations include:
- You fail to report for your appointment with your probation officer.
- Police find you with illegal drugs.
- You do not pay court-ordered restitution or fines.
- You fail to appear for a court date.
- You neglect to obtain permission from your probation officer to travel out of state.
- Police arrest you for another crime or offense during your probationary period.
Your probation officer may issue a warning if the violation is not too serious or frequent. However, if the officer considers you a habitual violator, or if the violation is severe, the officer may summon you to a hearing before a judge during which your probation officer will likely recommend some penalty, such as jail time.
Hold on to your freedom
A judge may have considerable flexibility when it comes to imposing penalties for probation violation. These may range from community service to incarceration. Depending on your circumstances, you may simply hope the judge is feeling good on the day of your probation hearing and goes easy on you. However, with so much at stake, a better alternative may be to have a strong advocate representing you.
You certainly don't want to go back to jail or lose your freedom because of one slip-up. An experienced criminal defense attorney who also spent years practicing as a Michigan prosecutor has a thorough knowledge of both sides of the law. Your attorney can present the circumstances surrounding your supposed violation and intercede for your cause.