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Often times, a person that pleads guilty to or is convicted of a criminal offense can avoid jail time by receiving probation. Probation allows the individual to resume their life without going to jail or prison. However, because they are on probation, there are rules that you must abide or face having the probation revoked and potentially serving jail time or other consequences. The length of probation is set by the courts and typically covers the full duration of the sentence, which can be anywhere from days to years depending on the convicted offense as well as any enhancing or mitigating sentencing factors.

Throughout that time, you will typically be assigned a probation officer who will have the authority and obligation to report violations to the court when they occur. If your probation is violated, you will be at risk of any number of legal consequences up to and including having to serve your sentence in jail or prison.

Probation Violations in Tennessee

The specific conditions of probation vary from court to court. Some of the most common reasons for a probation violation are as follows:  

  • Failed to report or meet with your assigned probation officer at the scheduled time
  • Failed a drug or alcohol test
  • Arrested on new criminal charges
  • Failed to complete your community service or other court-ordered conditions
  • Failed to pay your court costs
  • Left the area specified in your probation conditions without permission of the probation officer or court

Many courts have a written list of rules for their probation that may include other conditions or restrictions on your behavior while on probation. The probation officer will have a complete list if you are ever in doubt about what is required.

What Happens When You Violate Probation

What happens in the event of a probation violation depends on variety of factors. The court has wide discretion to impose conditions on your probation. Similarly, the court has a number of options when considering a violation of an individual’s probation.

The individual could be forced to serve out the original term of their conviction in custody. Time served during probation does not count towards the original sentence. For example, if you were sentenced to probation for 1 year and that probation was violated after 11 months, the court can order you to serve 1 year in jail even though you had just one month remaining on the probation.

A number of factors are considered by the courts when determining how to respond to a probation violation that has been proven by the preponderance of the evidence including:

  • The original offense for which you are on probation
  • The type and seriousness of the probation violation
  • The number of prior violations,
  • The individual’s prior criminal history
  • The impact of the violation on the community
  • The individual’s reputation
  • The individual’s efforts towards rehabilitation

Probation Hearing

In the event of a violation, an arrest warrant will issue. The probationer will be taken into custody and bond may or may not be set.  A court date for a hearing on the probation violation will be set. Once the probation violation comes before the judge, the district attorney must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt, to the court that the probationer violated the terms of the probation.  Both sides will have an opportunity to call witnesses and present evidence. It will then be up to the court to decide if:

  • The probation was violated
  • The seriousness of the violation
  • Possible consequences

If there is a history of previous or repeat violations, you could be looking at more punitive outcome. The help of an experienced Probation Violation Attorney is needed.

If you have been accused of violating your probation contact the offices of John P. Webb. We can help you understand your rights and provide a comprehensive strategy and defense to an accusation that you have violated your probation.

Call a Probation Violations Attorney at (615) 933-5230

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At John P. Webb, Attorney at Law, we are here to help you with your journey through the criminal justice system.  While it can be scary and confusing to face criminal charges, we walk with you through every step of the process to ensure that you fully understand your options and help you make the best decisions possible.

We are experienced in handling a wide range of criminal matters from minor misdemeanor offenses to the most serious of felony charges in courts throughout Middle Tennessee.  John strives to ensure that each client is treated with respect and personal attention.

Don’t Delay.  Schedule a free consultation today and let us assist you when you need it most.

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