When someone is convicted of a crime, probation is a form of punishment that can be assigned. Probation can be ordered on its own or along with other punishment. In either case, it is essential for those receiving probation to understand what is involved in serving this portion of their sentence. A defense attorney works hard to get probation in lieu of any harsher penalty such as incarceration for their clients. If it is granted, it definitely requires that a defendant live carefully within the imposed rules. Failure to do so can bring even bigger problems, including revocation of probation – and the original sentence being imposed.
What is Probation?
When a person is convicted of a crime, the court can levy a punishment such as a fine, jail or prison time, community service – or perhaps all three. It is also possible for a period of probation to be assigned, either along with any other punishment, or in place of one or more. It is the work of an experienced defense attorney to seek probation during the sentencing phase of a trial – or as part of a plea bargain – for their client. This type of sentencing allows most convicted individuals to go about their normal lives and not face the disruption that incarceration can bring.
Essentially, probation is a form of punishment that is served without jail or prison time. An attorney who helps clients who have been convicted of a crime report that anyone who receives probation must abide by certain standard rules, such as not leaving the state and checking in with a probation officer as required. The benefit to agreeing to such rules is to avoid serving time in a jail or prison. Probation requirements may differ by state; however, in all cases, failure to meet probation requirements is considered a violation.
Typical rules and limitations include drug and alcohol testing, being unable to own or possess any type of firearms during the probationary period, mandatory meetings with a probation officer, limitations on where the defendant may travel, and required community service and restitution. This is in lieu of or along with any other sentenced punishments.
What Is Probation Violation?
Probation violation occurs when a person who has received a sentence of probation fails to follow the specific rules laid out for them to follow during this period. Per an experienced defense attorney, violation of probation can range from something substantial such as failing a urine test, not meeting with or calling probation officers, or failing to pay fines when due to something that appears less serious such as associating with people that were specifically to be avoided.
All of this is considered a violation of probation and subject to additional punishment that could include a harsher sentence with jail or prison time, fines, extension or revocation of probation, and jail or prison time in addition to what was originally assessed. In other words, an attorney who helps clients accused of a violation of probation advise that such action usually puts a person in more trouble than before the original sentencing.
Probation Violation Defense Options
Anyone who has been charged with violating probation should contact their defense attorney and discuss the circumstances. Violating probation is almost always seen as an intentional act; however, in certain instances, an experienced attorney may be able to defend their client against further penalties or at least gain a more lenient sentence. It takes fast action from defense lawyers to avoid probation revocation and reach an agreement to other probationary terms.
An individual who has been sentenced to probation when convicted of a crime should take their sentence very seriously. It is vital to adhere to all listed rules and limitations for the duration of the probation. Failure to do so risks violating their parole, which is a serious crime. Contact an experienced defense attorney to discuss issues relating to probation before a violation becomes an even bigger problem!
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520