What Happens After a Probation Violation Accusation?

If your assigned probation officer thinks that you have violated terms of probation, then he or she may report you to the court. Then, you may get arrested or be required to show up in front of a judge. It is imperative that anyone who is facing a probation violation gets help from a criminal defense lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer in Rockville, MD. Your lawyer can work with you and advocate for your behalf, including trying to convince the judge to reinstate your probation while avoiding jail time. These matters must be taken seriously, otherwise the worst consequences may be inflicted by the court. 

What are the possible outcomes for a probation violation?
In the case of a probation violation, the judge will determine whether you have actually committed the supposed breach and what the penalty should be if guilty. Probation violation cases are different than others, as it is easier for the prosecution to show that the accused committed the violation.

Your lawyer can help gather evidence to show why the violation happened, organize for you to attend counseling or other alternative programs, refer you to a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center, request that the probation is reinstated as normal, and more. It would be your lawyer’s goal to keep you out of jail, if possible. The judge may decide to:

  • Reinstate the probation based on the same terms
  • Necessitate that you enroll in a rehabilitation program and/or therapy
  • Update the terms of the probation to make it stricter
  • Revoke the probation and require you to serve jail time

My probation officer accused me of violating probation, what happens next?
An officer could arrest you depending on the details they received from the DA or your probation officer. The court may issue a warrant for your arrest, or you may get a notice that you have to appear in court on a certain date and time. Regardless of how you are notified, as soon as you know that your probation officer has reported you, it is time to get a lawyer for protection. When you go to court, this is likely how the session will go: 

  • The prosecution will bring forward details about the supposed violation(s)
  • The judge will inquire as to whether you admit the violation(s) or deny them
  • The judge will decide whether you are to be given bail until a hearing date
  • The judge may schedule a hearing date that you are required to attend
  • The judge may summarily revoke the probation, meaning that your probation is still in effect, but the time running for it temporarily halts

What are the chances that I will be released pending a hearing?
The judge will decide if you should be released or kept in custody pending a hearing date and time. Unfortunately, citizens do not have the right to bail for probation violations. The judge may consider the following factors to decide whether you can walk freely until your hearing: 

  • Whether you are a danger to the public
  • If the safety of a victim and his or her family would be in jeopardy
  • The severity of the charges
  • Past criminal record

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into what happens after a probation violation accusation.