Here’s What You Should Know to Avoid a Technical Violation of Probation
Probation is based on the idea of rehabilitation. When the court imposes probation as a punishment instead of jail time, a probation officer monitors the individual and helps them learn to behave in responsible ways. Probation is often a positive outcome of a case, and it can offer support for a new beginning. But if you are placed on probation and you don’t uphold its terms, you may find yourself punished for a technical violation of probation.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a technical violation of probation, contact Murphy & Rudolf, LLP today. For your free consultation, call (508) 570-3037 or fill out a contact form on our website.
What Is Probation?
Each individual who is placed on probation is required to sign a probation contract. This includes the standard terms of probation, as well as any special conditions. The judge sets these terms, and each one must be strictly observed.
Standard terms generally include the following requirements:
- Obeying all state, federal and local laws
- Paying a probation supervision fee
- Reporting regularly to a probation officer
There may also be special probation conditions, which can include requirements such as:
- Paying restitution
- Attending AA meetings
- Performing community service
What Is a Technical Violation of Probation?
When a probation contract is signed, the defendant agrees that any violation can result in a sentence for up to the maximum penalty allowable for the underlying criminal charge. That means any new arrest, no matter how minor, can result in substantial penalties including jail time.
A substantial violation occurs when the probationer is charged with a new crime. Technical violations occur when there is no crime or arrest during probation, but there is a failure to follow the rules and conditions as laid out in the contract.
In Massachusetts, the following may be included as technical violations of probation:
- Failing to obtain and keep a job, or to attend school
- Not attending or completing any program, counseling, or class as ordered by the court
- Not appearing in court, or not meeting with the probation officer as scheduled
- Failing to pay fines or fees owed to the court
- Traveling outside of a designated region
- Failing to pass drug and/or alcohol tests
What Happens if Probation Terms Are Violated?
Most probation contracts are demanding, and it is not unusual for a person to violate their terms. When the evidence is conclusive and a probationer is convicted for a technical violation of probation, the court may do any of the following:
- Revoke the probation and send the probationer to prison
- Restore the probation with the same terms and conditions
- Restore the probation with additional, more severe terms and conditions
The best way to avoid a technical violation of probation is to fulfill the terms of your probation contract. However, if you do find yourself charged with a violation, you should consult with a skilled attorney right away to review your options.
At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, our lawyers are experienced in negotiating the favorable outcome that you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at (508) 570-3037 or fill out a contact form on our website.