What Happens if You Violate Probation in California?
Probation is often offered to defendants throughout California as an alternative punishment to time in jail or prison. As a more lenient form of punishment, defendants are expected to understand that probation is a privilege, not a right, and therefore must uphold the terms of their probation. Whether you are performing informal or formal probation, there are consequences, sometimes severe, for probation violations.
Informal vs. Formal Probation
There are two types of probation that can be assigned to a defendant, depending on the severity of his/her crime, including informal and formal probation. Informal probation is unsupervised and only requires periodic court appearances to let the judge know about the progress of the probation. Informal probation is generally granted to people who have committed non-violent misdemeanors. Alternately, formal probation requires registry with the Adult Probation Department and having a probation officer assigned to the case. People with formal probation will have to report to their probation officer at regular intervals. This type of probation is for offenders who have committed felonies or drug-related crimes.
What are the Consequences of Probation Violations?
If you violate the terms of your probation, or get in trouble for committing another crime while on probation, you will have to appear in a probation violation court hearing. From here, a judge may decide to:
1. Modify your probation with harsher terms
2. Reinstate your probation, without modifying any of the current terms
3. Revoke your probation entirely and send you to jail to serve the remaining years of your sentence
Ultimately, your previous criminal record and the type of violation will determine the consequences of your actions. To ensure that you reach the best possible outcome in court, it is vital to work with an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney. Contact us at Nicholson Law Offices to schedule your free consultation.