After being convicted of a criminal offense, the court may grant probation instead of imprisonment. Many courts prefer probation to incarceration because it is lower than the cost of housing and feeding prisoners, and providing them all with health care. On average, nearly two people out of every 100 are placed under probation. This privilege carries a number of conditions and responsibilities. You may be required to perform community service, attend classes/counseling, remain gainfully employed or stay in school, stay away from drugs, avoid committing any new criminal offenses, and keep appointments with the probation officer assigned to oversee your progress.
Failure to meet any of these or other conditions of your probation could mean going to jail or prison to serve out the original sentence. If you have been accused of a probation violation, in order to protect your freedom you need to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending probation violation charges. According to Probation and Parole in the United States, 73% of those placed on probation in our country did so without any incarceration and 59% completed their probation successfully. This shows the effectiveness of probation in helping offenders avoid incarceration. This government report also shows, however, that 16% of those who were placed on probation either returned to incarceration or were incarcerated for the first time. The single largest category of a serious offense committed by those on probation is a drug crime, and DUI offenses are close behind.
Consequences of a Probation Violation
Any failure to comply completely with the conditions of your probation can result in your probation officer reporting your non-compliance. After a violation is reported, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and you will have to appear at a probation revocation hearing to present your defense. You can be held in jail throughout the duration of the hearing. Being charged with a probation violation does not mean you will automatically go to jail, but it does mean that you should be represented by a respected criminal defense lawyer who can help you get out of jail by presenting your defense in a clear and compelling manner.
Without strong representation in court, you are at a far greater risk of being convicted and having to serve part of your original sentence. Discuss your concerns with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer today – I will take the time to explain your rights and give you advice on how to resolve the issue.