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What is a probation violation?

What is a Probation Violation?

Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law Understands How Probation Works

This month, Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law in Roanoke, VA helps answer the question, “What is a probation violation?” Anyone convicted of a crime could receive probation as part of their sentencing guidelines following a conviction. This allows you to remain free, but within certain boundaries. However, with the added scrutiny, there are times where you could end up in hot water because of a probation violation.


What is Probation and How Does it Work?

Probation is a form of supervised release that the court grants. It’s typically as an alternative to incarceration or after serving a portion of a sentence. During probation, individuals must adhere to specific terms and conditions. Conditions include check-ins with a probation officer, drug testing, community service, employment requirements, and maintaining good behavior.


What Are Some of the Most Common Violations?

  1. Failing Drug Tests: If a probationer tests positive for illegal substances, it constitutes a violation. Drug abstinence many times is a primary condition of probation.
  2. Missed Appointments: Regular meetings with a probation officer are essential. Failing to attend these appointments or not cooperating with the officer can lead to violations.
  3. Committing New Offenses: Any involvement in criminal activity during the probation period, whether charged or not, can trigger a violation.
  4. Traveling Outside Jurisdiction: Travel restrictions are sometimes part of probation. Leaving the designated area without permission can lead to violations.
  5. Failure to Pay Restitution or Fines: Non-compliance with financial obligations, such as paying fines or restitution to victims, can result in violations.
  6. Associating with Criminals: Being in the company of individuals with criminal records can breach probation terms.


What Happens After the Probable Violation?

  1. Probation Officer Report: Probation Officers compile a detailed report outlining the alleged violation and evidence supporting it. This report becomes a critical piece of evidence in the assessment process.
  2. Notice and Hearing: The probationer may have an opportunity to explain the parole violation. A hearing will evaluate the evidence and determine whether a violation occurred.
  3. Burden of Proof: The burden of proof in probation violation hearings is lower than in criminal trials. The prosecution must establish a “preponderance of the evidence,” showing that it’s more likely than not that the violation occurred.
  4. Legal Representation: Having an attorney experienced in probation violation cases, like Melvin L. Hill, Attorney at Law, is crucial. They can challenge evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and present a strong defense on behalf of the probationer.
  5. Potential Outcomes: If a violation occurs, consequences vary. The court might modify the terms of probation, impose stricter conditions, extend probation, or revoke probation and order serving the original sentence.


To answer any other questions you may have, or for criminal defense representation in the Roanoke area, give our office a call.



For more on probation violations, call Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law at (540) 342-1851. Follow our blog for more great information from  Attorney Hill, such as answering the question “What is a probation violation?”