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Probation violations are serious matters that can claim freedom

A probation violation is a very serious matter; however, it doesn't automatically mean that you are headed to jail. You do need to think carefully about how you are going to handle this situation.

There are several things that matter in these cases. First, just because you mess up while you are on probation doesn't mean that your probation officer is going to say you violated your probation. It is up to your probation officer to determine if the circumstances demand a violation.

If you have had a good rapport with your probation officer, he or she might decide not to file the probation violation and give you another chance. This might come with added requirements, such as reporting more often or taking drug tests.

In the event a probation violation is filed, you will need to think about your defense plan. You aren't going to face a jury of your peers. Probation violations are heard by a judge in a bench trial. The judge listens to both sides of the case and determines the outcome, including the sentence you will face if he or she finds that you did violate your probation.

Some of the sentences that you can face include having to go back to jail to finish out the remainder of your sentence. You might be sent back for only a portion of the sentence remaining. The judge might opt to just impose harsher conditions on your probation. There is a wide berth for what judges can do in these cases, so you should be prepared for what is to come.

Source: FindLaw, "Probation Violation," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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