What constitutes a probation violation?

When a defendant is on probation, perhaps one of their biggest fears is being sent back to spend more time in a jail cell. Therefore, when accused of having violated the terms of their probation, there’s no wonder that a defendant might be concerned about just how the alleged violation might impact their life.

In terms of what a violation is, it varies according to state and federal laws. Both jurisdictions generally agree that any action deemed to be a blatant attempt to either ignore, usurp, or break a law is consistent with a violation. With that in mind, it’s important to note that a defendant can be seen as having violated their probation at any point during their sentence, whether it be at the beginning, middle, or end.

Some examples of the more common probation violations occur when the defendant fails to either appear in court or to report to their probation officer as scheduled. Additionally, a defendant that is required, yet fails to pay restitution to victims as ordered by the judge, may also be deemed to have violated the terms of their probation.

Because defendants on probation are many times subject to remaining within a certain geographic area, they are required to request permission of their probation officer if they’re going to venture outside it. Failing to do so might result in a probation violation as well.

Last, there are situations in which some defendants use poor discretion and engage in further criminal activity while out on probation. Some types of criminal activity are either using, distributing, or possessing drugs. Any situation in which the probationer is arrested or charged with a crime is considered a potentially serious violation of their probation.

As for whether an individual who violates their probation stands to be remanded to jail, it depends largely as to the severity of the circumstances. The judge evaluates whether the individual had prior probation violations or they are deemed to have engaged in new criminal activity.

If you or someone you know has been accused of having violated the terms of their probation, a Derry, New Hampshire criminal defense attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.



Source: FindLaw, “Probation Violation,” accessed March 10, 2017