What is a Probation Violation?
Posted 1/19/2014 by Mark Miclette
Information, Inmate & Family Issues, Probation Information
Whether you are on probation after being in jail or you were allowed to be on probation instead of going to jail, there are rules and guidelines that you are required to follow. If you break any of these rules, your probation officer has the right to violate your probation. Only an attorney should advise you about legal issues but understanding what can get you violated might help you avoid the situation altogether.
Convictions and Probation Violations: If you are on probation and get convicted of a new crime, you can pretty much count on being violated regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony conviction. There are some exceptions, for example certain traffic tickets record as misdemeanors. Driving over the speed limit is considered reckless driving and is also considered a misdemeanor, not a felony, in some jurisdictions. Your parole officer might decide not to violate you over a traffic conviction, but he or she does have the power to violate you. Most times you will be violated if you get a conviction of any kind.
Money and Probation Violations: If you get too far behind on supervision fees, court costs, restitution payments, class fees or anything else you have been directed to pay, you can be violated. It seems counter-productive to toss you in jail over monies owed, making it impossible for you to work to pay the money back, but it happens across the nation. The best thing to do if you are going to be late with payments is to talk with your probation officer ahead of time and see what kind of leeway he or she will allow.
Ignoring reportable events: Moving, changing jobs, contact with the police, and in some cases applying for credit to buy something (a house or car, for instance) can get you violated. It is always better to over-report than to under-report.
Felon friends: If you are on felony probation you are not supposed to hang out with “known felons.” You can always argue that you weren't aware your friend was a felon. Your probation officer can always decide not to believe you. Protect your freedom: Don't hang out with felons while on probation.
Ignoring directives: Failing to do something you are supposed to do while on probation can land you in jail. For example, the court or your probation officer told you to obtain your GED and you don't. People can and do land in jail for such things. Do what you have been told to do. If you run into complications, inform your PO before your PO has a chance to bring the problem up with you.
Drug test failure: You need to pass your tests or have a valid prescription on file with your PO for the particular drug or narcotic you fail for.