What Happens if You Violate Probation?
There is no denying that probation can be a hassle, to say the least. For many people, though, probation can be a better alternative to jail. For others, it is a necessary condition of release. No matter why you have found yourself on probation, violating it has serious consequences.
When you are placed on probation, you are given a strict set of regulations. If you violate one of the terms of your probation, your probation officer has the discretion to either issue you a warning or request a court hearing. In typical cases, the officer will often choose to take the route of a hearing. Here’s what may happen.
Should You Admit to the Violation?
A violation hearing will be held before the judge that sentenced you to probation. You will be given the opportunity to either admit to or deny that you committed a violation. If you committed a violation, you may choose to admit to it and explain yourself in hopes of a lighter consequence.
If you didn’t commit a violation, you will want to deny the allegations. In either case, you will want to speak to your attorney before the hearing so that you are both prepared for what is going to happen and can discuss how you should respond to questions.
If you deny that you have violated probation, the judge will take testimony from the prosecutor and you. It’s important to understand that the standard of proof in one of these hearings is not as strict as in a criminal trial. The judge only needs to believe, after testimony, that you “more than likely” committed the violation.
Before sentencing you for the violation, the judge will take into consideration the type, nature and seriousness of the violation. They will also consider whether you have violated probation in the past, or if there were mitigating circumstances. If the judge determines that you committed the violation, you will be sentenced.
When you are placed on probation, you should be aware of all of the restrictions you are given. Agreeing to probation means that you are agreeing to abide by all the rules set forth by the judge. If you violate probation, you may be forced to serve your original sentence or you may be given a new sentence. If you do not understand the terms of your probation, speak with your probation officer or your attorney so that you are less likely to find yourself in violation.
If you have been arrested for a probation violation in Atlanta, you need an experienced attorney on your side fighting for your rights. Reach out to the team at Hawkins, Spizman & Kilgo for the representation you deserve. We will put our years of knowledge to work with you and help you make the best decisions for your unique situation. Call today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm.