In Derry and elsewhere in New Hampshire, a sentence for a criminal offense often includes a period of probation. The terms of that probation depend on many factors, and failing to comply with them could result in a violation. What happens next can vary from person to person, but anyone facing a probation violation should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Those on probation are typically required to periodically report to a probation officer or to make appearances before the court at certain times. Others are required to pay restitution to victims and/or fines. Some offenses require counseling of some kind as a condition of probation. Failing to comply with these terms could constitute a violation and result in serious consequences. Being accused of committing another crime, or merely being arrested, can also result in a violation.

Failing to meet any conditions of probation could mean additional fines, jail or prison time and other consequences. Probation officers do have the discretion to issue a warning, but they can also require attendance at a probation violation hearing before the court. The officer and/or the court can take the circumstances under which the claimed violation occurred into consideration.

However, unlike other criminal proceedings, prosecutors in Derry and other parts of the state are not required to provide the court with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual failed to comply with the terms of probation. Under these circumstances, it is only necessary to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation occurred. Therefore, it makes good sense to enlist the aid of a criminal defense attorney when a violation is alleged since the accused person’s freedom may well be at stake.

Source: FindLaw, “Probation Violation“, Accessed on Aug. 12, 2016