If you are accused of and convicted of violating felony probation, you could face serious consequences. Keep reading to learn what those potentially serious consequences are, and contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 to request a free legal consultation if you are charged with this crime.
The Judge Has Three Options After a Felony Probation Violation
There are three things the judge can decide to do after a person has violated their felony probation. The judge can simply reinstate the probation under the original terms, they can modify the terms of the probation and add stricter terms, or they can revoke the probation altogether and send the defendant back to prison to serve out the rest of their sentence.
Judges Have Discretion, but There Are Factors That Will Greatly Affect Their Decisions
It is true that judges at a probation violation hearing have a lot of discretion and can react to probation violations based on what they observe. However, it is also true that there are certain factors that will make it more likely that they will either reinstate or modify probation instead of revoking it.
If it was the first violation, if the probationer was on course to complete their probation other than the violation in question, if the violation was minor or just a technicality, or if the underlying offense they are on probation for was a low-level felony, then the judge will be much more likely to not revoke probation altogether and send the person to jail.
Additional Terms That Might Come with Modifying Probation
The ideal option is that the judge reinstates the probation as it was. In this case, the probationer is released from custody and can go back to the supervised release they were on. However, it is more common for the judge to add or modify terms. These terms could include drug or alcohol testing and/or treatment, house arrest, and other terms that make probation harder to live with.
More About Probation Revocation
The worst possible outcome is that the judge will revoke your probation entirely. If this happens, then you will be sent back to jail to serve the rest of the time you were supposed to serve on probation. If your sentence was not suspended, then you could face the maximum allowing time for the offense you were convicted of or plead guilty to.
It is most common for probation to be revoked if the original crime was a serious or violent crime, if the probationer committed a new crime, or if the probationer committed a particularly severe violation. It is also possible that they could face new charges for any unlawful actions they took while on probation.
If you have been accused of violating probation, you can contact a criminal defense attorney to find out what your options are. Reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now to learn more.