I Violated My Probation. What’s Going to Happen to Me?

If a court convicted you of a crime and placed you on probation, it may allow you to shorten or even avoid jail. However, probation is not without stipulations. If you violated your probation in Arizona, you could face more jail time or have further regulation as conditions of your probation. Talk with a criminal defense attorney immediately to negate the worst of these consequences.

The exact penalties of a probation violation vary depending on the nature and severity of the violation, if you’ve violated probation before, and even other circumstances that could affect the severity of the violation. In the end, you may be facing additional fines, extended probation, and even jail time.

Ways of Violating Probation

Any action that ignores, refuses or breaks the terms of probation within the established timeframe counts as a violation. The specific actions vary depending on the exact terms of probation, but some common examples are:

  • Not appearing to any scheduled court sessions
  • Not reporting to your probation officer
  • Not paying required fines
  • Visiting certain people, places, or traveling out of state without your probation officer’s permission
  • Possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs
  • Committing additional offenses or crimes
  • Being arrested for a new offense

Depending on the severity of your crime and violation, you may face a revocable or irrevocable offense. Revocable offenses result in the loss of your probation and can end in you facing your full jail sentence. These include absconding or receiving a new criminal conviction. Irrevocable offenses apply to any other offense and can have a different range of consequences – including jail time.

Consequences for Violating Probation

No one rule dictates the exact process following the violation. Often, your probation officer determines the next steps in relation to your offense. You may face a warning or a request to appear in court, and your violation may conclude without reaching a trial. During a probation hearing, the judge will decide if you have committed a violation and provide sentencing if the court finds you guilty.

Some potential sentences following a probation violation include:

  • Community service
  • Attending rehabilitation or behavioral correction classes
  • Paying additional fines
  • Extended probation time
  • Jail time (either a short period or your original full sentence)

More minor offenses, such as missing a meeting with your probation officer, may not reach court. The decision is dependent on your behavior throughout probation and the probation officer’s discretion. Missing a meeting but having informed your officer beforehand is a different scenario from you missing several meetings and not responding to your probation officer’s calls. While these internal sanctions occur often, you should never count on one in the event of the violation.

Confinement in Response to Violation

If you’ve conducted several severe violations, your officer may request a Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV), which means you’ll be facing jail time. For a misdemeanor probation, a CRV can mean you will face jail time up to the amount of your original sentence but not exceeding 90 days. For a felony, a judge only has the option to give you a CRV of 90 days, no more, no less.

The judge may make your CRV terminal, which means that, after you serve your jail time, your probation is complete. For non-terminal CRVs, you will go to jail and be on probation once again after you leave. This is up to the discretion of the judge.

The courts take probation violations seriously, so if you believe you’ve violated the conditions of probation, talk with one of our attorneys. The many potential scenarios a violation can create make dealing with them confusing, especially if you have more than one case of probation.