Criminal convictions may lead to you having problems getting a job, a house, and even lasting relationships because of the time served in jail and your record. Probation is one way the criminal justice system tries to lessen these consequences. It may simply be an alternative to jail time, or sometimes a court may give you probation as a suspension of a jail sentence.
DWI Probation Louisiana
You may still live in the community if you are under probation but that comes with terms and conditions. There will be a probation officer assigned to you to monitor and examine you without any warning. You also have to complete community service, pay all the fees and fines and adhere to certain rules. The treatment programs have to be completed and you may need to report regularly to your supervisor. There are cases where reporting to a supervisor is not necessary.
How Probation Can be Violated
Probation helps in the reduction or elimination of time behind bars. You will have to meet all the terms and conditions to avoid penalties. People violate probation when they ignore or break the terms and conditions of their probation during the probation period.
You may violate probation in if you:
- You commit other crimes or offenses
- You get arrested for an offense that is either criminal or not
- You do not appear during a scheduled court appearance on a set date or time
- You fail to report to your assigned officer
- You fail an alcohol or drug test
- You don’t complete community service requirements
- You fail to pay fines or restitution to victims as ordered by the court
- You were found in possession or found using or selling illegal drugs
Probation may last one to three years. But there have been cases where probation lasted for several years because of the seriousness of the original offense.
Consequences of Violating Probation
There is no set rule that clearly outlines what should happen to an individual that violates probation. A probation officer is required to issue a warning if you violate the terms and conditions but they may just decide to send you to court for a probation violation hearing. A probation officer will consider past violations or warnings in deciding what to do if you violate your probation
If you end up in court for probation violation, the judge will hear your case to decide whether you violated terms and conditions of your probation. You can face stricter supervision, short prison stay, lengthened probation time and additional requirements if found guilty. You may also have to pay large fines or restitution (money compensation to victims), or a judge may just revoke your probation and make you serve your remaining term in jail.
Your Legal Rights
You need to know your legal rights for you to avoid the consequences of probation violation. You have the right to:
- Be issued with a written notice of any claimed violation
- A neutral judge
- Have an attorney to represent you
- Have witnesses and evidence in court to support your case
A skilled and resourceful attorney can review your case and offer necessary assistance.