probation violation | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Community Corrections

A probation violation occurs when a probationer fails to comply with any of the conditions set by the court as part of their probationary sentence, which may result in the revocation of probation or other penalties.

Probation is a form of alternative sentencing that allows individuals to avoid incarceration while being held accountable for their actions and monitored for compliance with specific conditions set by the court. As a condition of probation, individuals must comply with specific terms and conditions set by the court, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, drug testing, and restrictions on travel and association with certain individuals.

If a probationer fails to comply with any of the conditions of their probation, they may be subject to probation violation proceedings. This may involve a hearing during which the probationer has the right to be represented by an attorney and present evidence in their defense. The hearing is usually conducted by a judge, who will determine whether the probationer has, in fact, violated the conditions of their probation.

If the judge finds that the probationer has violated their probation, they may choose to impose a variety of penalties, depending on the severity and nature of the violation. One possible penalty is the revocation of probation, which involves terminating the probationer’s probationary status and imposing the original suspended sentence when probation was granted. This may include a term of imprisonment, fines, or other sanctions.

Before imposing probation revocation, the judge may consider a number of factors, such as the nature and severity of the violation, the probationer’s criminal history, and the likelihood of future violations. In some cases, the judge may choose to impose alternative sanctions, such as extending the term of probation or imposing additional conditions, rather than revoking probation outright.

Common types of probation violations include failure to appear for a court hearing, failure to pay fines or restitution, failure to complete court-ordered programs, such as drug or alcohol treatment, and committing new offenses while on probation. It is important to note that probationers are subject to ongoing monitoring and supervision by their probation officer, and any violation of the conditions of their probation may be reported to the court and result in probation violation proceedings.

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Last Modified: 03/13/2023


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