Can you bail out of jail on a probation violation?

Person in handcuffs at a police desk.

Consequences of Probation Violation

Being arrested isn’t anything to take lightly, nor is being on probation. And probation violation can create more legal issues than the arrest already has, compounding the problem. Probation violation consequences can be as severe as those of the original crime, and in some cases worse.  

A probation violation occurs when a person on probation has violated the specific terms of their probation as set in place by a judge. The specific conditions of these terms can vary from case to case depending on the crime, the conviction, and the defendant’s previous criminal record. 

 The most common and general probation conditions include:

  • Reporting to a PO (probation officer) on set schedule
  • Finding and maintaining stable employment
  • No new crimes
  • Not leaving the state without permission
  • Regular testing for alcohol and/or drugs
  • Paying court ordered fees and fines
  • Paying restitution
  • Community service
  • Associating with certain people

Being Charged With Probation Violation

Probation violation, or VOP (Violation of Probation), is a criminal offense in the State of Virginia. If you are on probation and you are charged with a VOP, what can you expect to happen next? Some probation violation examples would be any of the following: 

  1. Non-appearance for mandated court appointments
  2. Not reporting to probation officer
  3. Not paying court-ordered fees, fines, or restitution
  4. Not performing community service
  5. Not completing court-ordered alcohol/drug counseling or treatment
  6. Failing to maintain steady employment
  7. Unapproved out-of-state travel
  8. New arrest and criminal charges
  9. Associating with certain people

What happens when you violate probation for the first time?

After a probation violation arrest, the defendant is taken to jail and will appear before the judge for arraignment. At that court appearance the judge will determine if a probation violation bond is allowed. 

The first probation violation may be met with only a warning from the probation officer. Any subsequent probation violations could be reported to the court at the probation officer’s discretion with a variety of consequences possible. 

Having a criminal background, the seriousness of the probation violation, and other probation violations will factor into the judge’s decision on how to handle the current situation. A hearing may be required by the judge where determination of what consequences are to be handed down. Among them are finishing the currently imposed probation with the addition of other conditions and terms, like extended community service or additional fines. Revoking probation is also possible, resulting in jail time.

What happens if you miss a court date while on probation?

The State of Virginia Law requires anyone to appear when summoned or by warrant, before a court if there is no supporting waiver document. Based on the original charge and its seriousness, missing a probation court date could become a felony. Any bond paid will be forfeited. 

A missed court date for felony charges will result in an arrest warrant where the defendant is jailed until their hearing. Additional charges can be added as a Class 6 felony charge. A penalty with a maximum of 5 years prison time with a fine up to $2500 may be imposed. 

Does a probation violation mean jail?

Not necessarily – there are several factors that are considered by the judge that will determine that outcome. While probation violation is a serious matter, the consequences could be requiring the defendant to travel only from home to work and work to home, as long as they maintain steady employment. 

How long can they hold you in jail for a probation violation?

This can depend on the court docket and how many cases are scheduled before yours.  A defendant can be held on a probation violation for up to 30 days or longer. Each city, county, and state will have different lead times on when court appearances are available. Having a criminal attorney with probation violation on your side could help speed this process. 

What happens at a probation violation hearing?

At your probation violation hearing, the prosecutor must show proof of the probation violation was intentional, by careless or negligence. A criminal defense attorney can help you create a support case that these charges aren’t accurate or to navigate a lesser penalty. 

Gavel on a pile of money.

Closing Words

Is there a difference between probation violation vs parole violation? Probation is a criminal sentence where the offender is permitted to remain living within the community instead of servicing time behind bars. As long as the defendant meets all conditions and terms of their probation, they will remain free.

Parole is given after a jail term has been completed where the defendant is supervised by a parole officer while being released into the community. This is often issued before the original jail term has been completed based on the defendant’s behavior while incarcerated. The law can be confusing for anyone, which is why any time you find yourself in a situation of being arrested and facing time behind bars, seeking the service of a criminal defense lawyer is recommended. You can also get help by reaching out to A-1 Affordable Bail Bonds at 434-237-2245.