What is probation and how is it violated?

Some people convicted of a criminal charge will go to prison. The problem of overcrowding in the prison system means that not everyone who is facing prison will end up there. As an alternative, individuals will be placed on probation.

Probation is a way for individuals to remain out in society while being placed under the supervision of a probation officer. The person has to meet specific conditions in order to remain on probation. The alternative is for the person to be sent to prison. For this reason, many people who are on probation will try to remain out of trouble.

What are the conditions for probationers?

The conditions that you have to abide by often depend on the court’s orders. There are some conditions that are fairly standard. Your probation officer should go over exactly what you’re expected to do when you’re on probation. Some of the things you might expect include:

  • Getting your GED if you don’t have it or a high school diploma
  • Finding and maintaining legal employment
  • Staying out of legal trouble
  • Passing drug testing
  • Keeping away from felons and others who have broken the law
  • Completing specific courses meant to help you
  • Paying court costs and fines
  • Meeting any other conditions set by the court

What is a probation violation?

A probation violation occurs when a person who’s on probation doesn’t comply with the terms of the program. The probation officer determines when there should be court action taken. In some cases, probation violations are handled directly by the probation officer and don’t lead to charges.

When a person is accused of a probation violation in the court system, they should ensure that they are prepared to face the judge. These cases are handled in bench trials, so the judge listens to both sides and determines what needs to happen.

Anyone who’s facing a probation violation charge must ensure that they’re working closely with their attorney to present their defense. The court will look at the legal merit of the argument you make, so you must have this in order before you head into the hearing.