With any criminal conviction, there is the chance of probation as part of sentencing. Probation often serves as an alternative to jail time and may be applied to minor crimes or felonies.

However, there are serious consequences when anyone violates their probation, including possible jail time or even prison.

What constitutes a probation violation?

Probation may look different for different individuals, depending on the sentencing and the judge, but the definition of a violation is the same for everyone. If you willfully and materially fail to comply with the terms of your probation, there will be consequences.

Common probation violations include:

  • Failing a drug test
  • Missing or arriving late to probation-related meetings
  • Failure to complete court-mandated programs such as counseling or rehabilitation
  • Failure to pay court fines
  • Committing another crime during your probation

If a probation officer discovers a violation, you will likely be arrested and sent to jail. Most judges will not allow bail if the arrest relates to a probation violation, so it’s likely that a defendant who violated probation will stay in jail through the hearing.

It’s important to note that you can argue against a violation, so you shouldn’t feel hopeless if you missed payments or did not inform the court of a change in address.

Instead, consult with an attorney before the probation hearing to learn about your options.