A lot of criminal defendants decide to go on probation as a way of resolving the case against them. Probation is a useful tool, in that it keeps you out of jail but also gives the State the sense that you are still being punished and held accountable for your actions. In most cases, if you can successfully complete all of the terms of your probation, the charges will either be dropped or at least reduced. This is a significant benefit, especially when the charges are traffic related, because a reduced charge might keep your insurance from going up and can also keep harmful points off of your driving record. But what happens if you make a mistake, and are not able to follow all of the rules of your probation?
When probation is violated, the terms are revoked. What this means is that you are no longer going to get the benefits you thought you would be getting when you agreed to go on probation, and you might even face more charges. Two possible punishments for probation violations include:
- Revocation of probation and imposition of punishment up to the full range possible for the charges filed against you. You may not feel the full weight of the possible range of punishment, but you will likely be punished to a more severe degree than what you were enjoying while on probation.
- An extension of the probationary period, which means you will be on probation longer than you originally anticipated.
In addition to facing the above possibilities, you will also be charged with the new crime of violation of probation. That crime will need to be defended, along with the original charge that brought you to Court. In order to avoid taking a misstep while on probation, make sure you fully understand the requirements before you make the agreement. If there are terms you do not believe you can fulfill, let your attorney know. Sometimes all it takes is a bit more negotiating on your behalf to get to a result that meets your needs. If you have been charged with violating your probation, call us for help. The charges are serious, but can be defended.
For more information about probation violations, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to working with you.