What Happens if I Violate Probation?

7-1What Happens if I Violate Probation?

If you have been placed on probation by the judge, you must follow the rules that the court provided. Probation allows you some freedom and is often a much better alternative than spending time in prison. Sometimes, a probationary period follows a period of incarceration as part of the sentence. Probation can be restrictive, and you could find yourself in violation of your probation. You may wonder what will happen if you violate probation.


Types of Probation

There are two main types of probation, including supervised and unsupervised. Supervised probation is the most serious form of probation. The court will assign you a probation officer. The probation officer oversees your probation period and ensures that you are following the terms and conditions of your probation. Generally, your probation officer must know where you are, and you can only travel out of state with permission. In some cases, you could be required to wear an ankle monitor.


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Unsupervised probation simply means that you must comply with the terms of probation on your own. The court expects you to follow the terms of probation, but you are not under direct supervision by a probation officer. You may often be required to perform community service as a condition of your probation.


What are Common Probation Violations?

To many people, the rules of their probation can seem daunting. However, it is important to know that a violation of your probation could have serious consequences. The most common probation violations include the following:alcatraz-d-block-1580964-scaled

  • Failure to appear at a scheduled hearing
  • Failing to meet or check in with your probation officer
  • Failure to pay court-ordered restitution or fees
  • Failing to remain employed
  • Failure to complete community service
  • Staying in contact with people you are supposed to avoid
  • Committing another crime
  • Absconding


Technical violations are those that are specific to a court order. Substantive violations are those that allow the judge to activate your suspended sentence. Substantive violations include committing another crime while on probation and absconding. Absconding means that your probation officer can no longer get in contact with you, and you have disappeared.


What to Do After a Probation Violation

If you have violated your probation, you could face some legal consequences. When you violate probation, the judge will likely issue an arrest warrant. Depending on the circumstances, the warrant may require the police to arrest you, even at your home or place of business. If you have an arrest warrant, you could get arrested if you are stopped for a traffic violation.

If you are out of the jurisdiction, the police will contact the jurisdiction where you have an active warrant to find out whether they want you brought in. You will go before a judge who will review the matter and decide what to do. You will likely have a better chance of reducing the severity of the punishment with help from a skilled attorney.

If you have violated probation, it is best to take some steps to mitigate the matter as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney will assist you in determining the best course of action. You may be able to arrange to turn yourself in to face the consequences. It is often better to go to the police rather than wait for them to find you.


If you have violated probation or have been arrested for probation violation, do not wait to call an attorney. Contact us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation or find additional resources here.






The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.



abscond | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)

probation | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)


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