What Constitutes a Violation of Probation

What Constitutes a Violation of Probation

Violation of Probation—Understanding the Distinctions

If you have been convicted of a crime, you can be ordered to serve a period of probation. During that time, you will have to report regularly to your probation officer, may have curfews imposed, and may have travel restrictions. The failure to abide by the terms of your probation is considered a serious offense, and can lead to additional charges being filed against you. Any violation of probation will be reported to the court by your probation officer. If the judge believes that your acts violated your probation, a warrant can be signed for your immediate arrest.

The Different Types of Probation Violations

Generally, probation violations are categorized as either “technical” violations or “substantive” violations. A technical violation is less serious, and usually means that you neglected to follow one of the procedural rules established as part of your probation. Some frequent technical probation violations include:

  • Violating curfew restrictions
  • Moving without notifying your probation officer, or violating travel limitations
  • Failing to comply with court-ordered restitution or failing to pay mandatory court fees
  • Testing positive for substance abuse

A substantive probation violation occurs when you are convicted on new charges, for an offense not related to the one that put you on probation. Though a substantive violation is usually considered more serious than a technical violation, the penalty can be the same, regardless of the type of violation.

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