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What if I violate my probation?

| Mar 17, 2017 | Criminal Defense

When you are given probation instead of being sent to jail, your natural reaction may understandably be to breathe a sigh of relief. However, not going to jail does come with multiple obligations that you have to meet during the term of your sentence. If you end up not meeting these probation obligations in New Jersey, the consequences can be major.

What is a probation violation?

A violation generally occurs when you break the conditions or terms of your probation by refusing, avoiding or ignoring them. The period during which these terms must be met is usually between one year and three years. However, it might also be multiple years depending on your original offense.

You can end up getting in trouble for not going to court for a scheduled appearance at a particular time or not meeting with your probation officer as scheduled, for example. In addition, not passing a drug test or not showing up for a drug test ordered by the court can have negative consequences for you.

Other examples of violations include not paying the required restitution to victims that the court has ordered or going out of the state without getting permission from your probation officer. Committing other offenses that cause you to get arrested while you are still under the supervision of the court also falls under the category of a violation.

What happens after I violate my probation?

What takes place next is generally up to your officer. Your officer might give you a warning or make it mandatory for you to go to court for a hearing. If you end up having to go to a hearing, a judge will examine your case to see if you did indeed violate the conditions or terms of your probation. The prosecutor must prove that you committed a violation by a preponderance of the evidence.

The consequences you may face after not meeting your probation obligations typically depend on various factors, including how serious your violation was and whether or not you have previous violations. You may end up incurring significant penalties, such as heavy fines or even jail time due to facing additional criminal charges.

A knowledgeable attorney in New Jersey can review your case, complete an extensive investigation to build a strong defense for you, and help you to pursue the most personally favorable outcome possible considering the circumstances surrounding your case.

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