If you’re convicted of a crime or plead guilty in Virginia, you may have some of the jail sentence suspended and be placed on a period of probation, or your entire jail sentence may be suspended and you may be placed on probation without having served any jail time. Either way, this suspended sentence and probation period comes with various conditions.
You face serving more jail time in addition to whatever sentence you originally served when you violate the conditions of probation. If you’re facing probation violation accusations, you should consult a criminal defense attorney in Roanoke to help you fight the charges or reduce the potential penalties if the allegations are true.
What Are the Common Probation Violations?
It is crucial to understand your probation terms, orders, and conditions.
Some ways in which you can violate probation include:
- Not complying with what the probation officer tells you to do
- Not getting or keeping a job if it was a requirement
- Failing to complete any community service if it was a condition of the probation
- Committing additional crimes while still on probation
- Traveling outside the state without authorization from the probation officer or court
- Not paying restitution to a victim, applicable court fines, or compensation as ordered by the court
- Failing to stay away from certain places or people as ordered by the court
Probation violation attorneys in Roanoke can help you stay out of trouble by explaining more about probation rules. They’ll also help you understand the risk and consequences you face upon violating your probation.
How Does the Commonwealth of Virginia Classify Probation Violations?
The Commonwealth of Virginia has two broad categories of probation violations:
- New Law Violations: Obviously, committing a new crime while on probation is viewed much more seriously than if you commit a technical violation. The probable penalty for committing a new crime while on probation is likely more jail time than if you commit a technical violation.
- Technical Violations: With every release into probation, you’ll get a set of conditions you must fulfill. Violating these conditions, even though they are not new crimes, is a violation of probation. Some examples of technical violations are failing to pay fines or missing a meeting with the probation officer.
What Happens If I Violate My Probation in Virginia?
The consequences of your probation violation depends on whether you’re a first-time offender, your probation officer, and your jurisdiction. It’s impossible to predict how a violation probation case will go, but a Roanoke probation violation attorney can help you understand the potential risks.
Here are some possible outcomes in a probation violation case:
- A warning: If you made a mistake or the violation was minor, the probation officer may issue a warning, especially if it’s your first violation.
- Court hearing: You may be required to appear in court to face the accusation of violating probation. Ensure not to miss the hearing even if you could be facing harsher penalties or a jail term. The court may issue a warrant of arrest if you miss the hearing. The court will give you the opportunity to plead your case. A Roanoke criminal defense attorney can advise you on how to explain what you did to the court to be in the best position for the court to be lenient with you.
- Sentencing: You’re likely to have your probation period extended if you’re a first-time offender. If the offense isn’t too severe, the court may order you to attend a rehabilitation program or commit more hours to community service. The court could revoke the probation and send you to prison if the violation is more severe. Still, a probation violation lawyer in Roanoke can defend you to try to get a less severe sentence.
What If I had a Legitimate Reason for Violating My Probation in Virginia?
While you may think you had a legitimate reason for violating probation, unfortunately, there are very few legitimate reasons. Any action that violates your probation can potentially lead to various penalties, including a prison sentence.
Missing an appointment with your probation officer because you were unwell, had car problems, or were caught up with work commitments are not acceptable excuses. If you find yourself in such a situation, seek the help of a probation violation attorney in Roanoke, VA, to present your situation in the best possible light to the court to try to get a favorable outcome.
If Sent to Jail, How Long Will I Be There for Probation Violation?
The length of the sentence for a probation violation depends on several factors. How long you will serve depends on:
The Seriousness of the Violation
Probation violations are different, and they don’t receive equal treatment. For example, not paying court fees will receive a different treatment than being found guilty of a new crime.
The court may take a harsher view of the violation if you are convicted of committing a new similar crime. For instance, if you are on probation for DUI and are convicted of another DUI, the court may view this as a more egregious offense compared to failure to pay court fees.
A judge might give a less harsh penalty if you failed to comply with the probation officer’s request because of an injury or the death of a loved one. If your reasons for violating probation are explainable, you must tell your attorney so your attorney can present this to the court and ask the Judge to consider a lesser sentence or even a warning.
A Prior Probation Violation
Judges become less tolerant of each subsequent probation violation. So, if this is your second or third time violating your probation, the chances of being sentenced to serve most or all of your prior suspended sentence increases dramatically.
A Legal Representative Aggressively Fighting for Your Freedom
Ideally, you shouldn’t violate your probation because the risk of serving additional jail time is high. However, if you violate the terms of your probation, you can still fight the negative impact of the offense. Your best bet would be to contact a probation violation lawyer in Roanoke to defend your case.
At the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, we provide client-centric defense for clients facing all charges. We have a reputation for legal excellence and aggressive defense representation and can fight for a favorable outcome in your probation violation case. Contact us for a FREE consultation.