July 8, 2016 By Paul Wallin


Will I Have to Serve Time If I Violate a Probation Condition?

Most people assume that if you violate a condition of your probation, you will be taken directly to jail (or prison, depending upon the crime you committed). While imprisonment is a real possibility, it is not automatic.

The court has many available options when it decides what punishment to impose if it is found that you violated one or more terms of your probation. Below are some of the different ways a court may impose punishment if you were to violate the terms of your grant of probation.

What Happens If You Violate Probation? 

If you violate probation, you may be sentenced back to prison or face a number of other punishments. Whether the judge will impose a jail sentence on you for your probation violation often depends on the specific terms of your probation, as well as whether you are on felony or misdemeanor probation.

Felony Probation Violation

When you are on felony probation, your case is likely supervised by a probation officer. If the probation officer believes you have violated a term of your probation, he will likely have you re-arrested. You will then have to stay in jail without the ability to post bail until your probation violation hearing. At your hearing, the court may terminate your probation and sentence you to jail or prison time, depending upon the nature of the crime for which you originally plead guilty. The court may also reinstate probation and impose new probation terms or extend the length of your probation. 

Misdemeanor Probation Violation

When you are on misdemeanor probation, you typically will not have a probation officer. If you violate a term of your probation and the court finds out about it, you will likely receive a letter to appear in court to admit or deny the allegation that you violated your probation. If the court decides that you violated any term of your probation, the court may subject you to any of the following:

  • Revoke your probation and impose the maximum sentence allowable for the crime to which you plead guilty
  • Reinstate your probation and impose some jail time due to your probation violation and allow you to remain on probation under the same terms
  • Reinstate your probation and order you to pay a fine or do community work service due to your probation violation and allow you to remain on probation
  • Allow you to remain on probation and extend the term of your probation or add new conditions of your probation

An experienced criminal attorney may be able to convince the judge that you did not intend to break the condition of your probation or that your violation does not warrant harsh punishment. Your attorney may be able to show the court that there were circumstances that made it impossible for you to avoid violating your probation or that your violation deserves no further punishment.

Call a Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away

Many people violate the terms of their probation unintentionally or because some circumstance prevented them from following through with the conditions of their probation. If you are accused of a probation violation, you should speak to an attorney who has experience helping people like you at probation hearings.

At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled team of attorneys has been successfully helping clients like you for over 40 years. We know how to argue for leniency at probation violation hearings, and we are committed to working hard to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your probation violation case.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Torrance, Victorville and Ventura, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.

Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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