You were likely relieved when the court granted you probation. This either means you already spent part of your sentence in jail or the judge granted you probation instead of jail time. While your probation likely has stipulations attached to it, you and your loved ones probably agree that it is better than spending any time at all behind bars.
However, those stipulations can trip you up quickly, and it is important to understand what could happen if you violate the terms of your probation. If the court has offered you this chance to stay out of jail, you can imagine there are likely some harsh consequences for violating the conditions of your probation.
What are the conditions of your probation?
Probation is a second chance. Rather than spending your entire sentence behind bars, you have the opportunity to return to your family, return to your job and participate in life as part of society. Depending on the circumstances of your conviction, your probation may last many years, or you may simply finish out the rest of your sentence. Some of the common terms or conditions of probation include the following:
- Reporting to a probation officer for regular meetings
- Appearing for any scheduled court appearances
- Fulfilling your court orders, such as paying restitution or fines, or performing community service
- Refraining from using alcohol or drugs
- Avoiding certain people, such as those with criminal records or anyone associated with the crime of which you were convicted
- Traveling outside Connecticut without the authorization of your probation officer
- Facing arrest for additional offenses
Your probation may have other restrictions, so it is important that you review these with your attorney if you are unsure what the court expects of you. You would also benefit from seeking legal advice if police arrest you for violating your probation.
What happens after a parole violation?
If you come before the court facing accusations of a parole violation, the court will consider all the evidence and determine whether your actions constitute a violation of your conditions. A judge will also consider the circumstances surrounding the offense and your history of past violations. He or she has several options for sentencing you after finding you guilty of violating your parole:
- Warning you to avoid further violations
- Extending the length of your probation
- Adding more conditions to your probation
- Sending you to jail for a short time
The most serious penalty you may face is losing your probation altogether. If the circumstances of your violation are serious enough, the judge may order you back to jail to finish your entire sentence or even add additional time to your sentence. Because of the serious consequences of a probationary violation, you have the right to legal representation throughout the entire process.