What happens if you violate probation?

handcuffed individual signing papers

Understanding Probation Violation

ion in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA isn’t much different than in other areas. Like other cities and states, folks here would rather rehabilitate offenders than put them behind bars, and that’s the purpose of probation with first-time or low-risk offenders. The hope with probation is to guide the defendant away from crime while protecting society and potential victims. Unfortunately, there are still those that can’t stay on the straight and narrow, which is why we have to worry about the probation violation bail process. 

What is a probation violation?

Being granted probation is not a “get-out-of-jail-free” gift from the courts. It is a “stay-out-of-jail” opportunity with the goal of being rehabilitated and redirected in life. A defendant given probation will be supervised by a court-ordered probation officer while still living within the community. 

A probation comes with terms and conditions that the defendant must follow, or they will find themselves facing probation violation. With probation violation, bail and the possibility of incarceration are possible. There are technical probation violations and substantive probation violations, which function as follows.

Technical Probation Violations

This is the act of disobeying the supervision rules and all its terms and conditions. Typically, this type of probation violation doesn’t count as a new crime and could include any of the following: 

  • Missing appointments with a probation officer
  • Positive testing for alcohol or drugs
  • Knowing and willful failure to pay court ordered fines and restitution
  • Missing court-ordered counseling and/or community service
  • Leaving the state without the court’s permission
  • Failure to maintain employment or miss school
  • Visiting people or being found in places prohibited under the probation rules and all its terms and conditions

Substantive Probation Violations

This is when the probationer commits a new crime or new crimes during their probation period. 

What happens on your first probation violation?

Once the probationer successfully completes their probation, the sentence imposed by the judge will be satisfied and over. The defendant can then put these legal matters behind them and move forward with their life. However, if probation is violated, the judge may choose to decline bail, making the probation violation bail case a moot point. Other actions the judge may take could include any or all of the following: 

  • Extending the probation term length
  • Modifying the rules, terms, and conditions of the probation
  • Ordering counseling in accordance with the original crime (alcohol, drug, anger management, etc.)
  • Ordering jail time to be served and subsequently followed with more probation
  • Charging additional fines and restitution 
  • Revoking the probation and sentencing the probationer to jail

How many times can you violate probation?

Any violation of the law can have you incarcerated, including probation violations. For a person that has violated their probation multiple times, it will be up to the judge and a district attorney working with your probation officer, who will offer their opinion on the case as to what actions to take. Things that will be considered are the: 

  • Original crime
  • Type of probation violation
  • Previous criminal history 
  • Probationer’s attitude toward the court and the law

Chances are there will be a jail sentence handed down after several acts of probation violation, bail will not be granted, and no future probation will be offered. 

How can you get bail for a probation violation?

The probation violation bail will be determined by the judge, with the district attorney and probation officer weighing in on the decision. If you have a criminal defense attorney on your case, they will be a part of that meeting as well, representing you. 

Whether an individual will get probation violation bail will be up to the judge. If probation violation bail is denied, the probationer could be placed under arrest and returned to jail. 

How much is a bond for probation violation?

It is said that asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission, but when it comes to probation violation, bail bonds tell a different story. The judge that issued probation in the first place will often feel an individual shouldn’t have been released from jail. It is apparent to him or her that the original bail amount wasn’t enough to keep an individual on their best behavior. Keeping that in mind, the violation probation bail bond will most likely be a higher amount than the original bail bond, if they allow bail again at all. 

Can you violate probation and not go to jail?

Chances are you’ll be arrested and placed in jail until you see the judge. There are many factors the judge will take into account to determine whether setting a probationer free on probation violation bail is appropriate. First, they will consider the original crime and the act that violated probation. They will review your criminal background, your place in the community (such as whether you are a business owner or drifter), and they will take into consideration the probation officer and district attorney’s views on the matter.

Does a probation violation go on your record?

Yes, probation violation will show on criminal records, and if the probation is revoked, that will be indicated as well.  Many people may also wonder, can a probation violation be dismissed?

Arrest records, criminal convictions, and juvenile adjudications can be expunged after the defendant has satisfied certain requirements, including probation. Because a probation violation is a crime, the new sentencing will need to be completed and then a petition filed by the defense attorney for expungement will need to be presented to the courts. Whether it is expunged or not will be the judge’s sole decision. 

close-up of ankle monitor

In Closing – Felony Probation

What happens if you violate felony probation?

Like any type of probation, there are many possible scenarios a probationer could be facing with probation violation: 

  • Revoke the probation and send the probationer is returned to prison
  • Probation terms are modified to be longer and stricter
  • Original probation reinstated in the original rules, terms and conditions

Probation and probation violations can be challenging to understand and deal with. It is always best to avoid probation violations altogether, though circumstances can always arise that can lead to a probation violation. If you are dealing with this kind of situation, an experienced bail bondsman can be there to help you through.