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What Happens If You Violate Probation?

probation officer talking to probationer in an office

Consequences for a Probation Violation in California

Probation is a privilege, not a right. As such, it can be revoked or suspended at any time following a probation violation. A judge may grant probation, also called “community supervision” to a convicted offender as an alternative to incarceration or a supplement to their jail sentence. For example, a judge may require an offender to complete 2 years in prison before being allowed to serve 2 years on probation. Or the judge may grant the defendant 4 years of probation rather than prison time altogether.

Since probation is a privilege, you must ensure you follow all the terms and conditions set out in your specific arrangements. If you don’t, you could be looking at a longer sentence or other additional penalties depending on your specific violation.

Common Probation Violations

With the above conditions of probation in mind, you can see that there is a lot of rules to follow. Any minor slipup could cost you your entire probation sentence or, ultimately, harshen your legal penalties altogether. Unfortunately, many probationers have trouble following all the rules at all times, some of the most common violations being:

  • Failing a drug test
  • Failing to report to a probation officer
  • Getting arrested for a crime
  • Failing to appear at a scheduled appearance
  • Failing to participate in or complete treatment programs and/or counseling
  • Failing to secure a job
  • Failing to pay court fees and fines
  • Possessing controlled substances or weapons
  • Hanging out with others engaged in criminal activity

Can You Go to Jail for Violating Probation?

While probation is a much more favorable consequence than jail, it can be revoked or suspended upon a violation. Maybe you forgot to set an alarm for your scheduled court hearing or couldn’t say “no” to a hit from the bong, but regardless of your specific violation, it’s important to be mindful of the punishments you could suffer as a result.

Whether you violated felony probation or you violated misdemeanor probation, you could be looking at the following repercussions:

  • Additional probation time
  • New conditions of probation
  • Revocation of probation and imposition of the original sentence
  • Increased jail sentence
  • Higher fines and fees
  • Extended community service hours
  • Mandatory counseling/treatment

As you can see from the penalties above, it is in your best interests to avoid violating your probation, as it could only hurt you rather than help you. Whether offenders accidentally or knowingly violate their probation, it doesn’t sit well with the judge either way. As such, our criminal defense lawyers at Appel & Morse invite you to schedule a consultation if you are accused of violating your probation or are confused about the terms of your current probation sentence.

Call (805) 467-6060 today. We are happy to help!