If you are convicted of a criminal offense in California and are sentenced to probation in addition to, or in lieu of, a term of incarceration, it is crucial that you take the terms of your probation seriously. We often have clients ask, “Can my probation be reinstated after a technical violation in California?” The simple answer to that is “yes” – your probation can be reinstated – but there is no guarantee that it will be reinstated.
People often make the mistake of agreeing to a lengthy term of probation instead of risking even a short period of time in jail. While this may be understandable, it is important to also understand that you are required to abide by all the terms and conditions of your probation for the entire length of your probation. Many probation terms and conditions are frustrating at best and may include requirements such as:
- Keep regular appointments with a probation officer
- Submit to drug or alcohol testing when requested to do so
- Complete a designated number of community work service hours
- Pay fine and costs
- Attend regular counseling or therapy sessions
- Pay restitution
- Remain employed or attend school
- Refrain from contacting the victim in your case
Probation can be violated in two ways – a technical violation or by a new arrest unrelated to your probation. One of the terms of your probation will be that you do not commit any new offenses so being charged with a new offense will likely cause a violation of probation to be filed. Technical violations, however, are also common. A technical violation simply means that you failed to comply with one of the many conditions of your probation. For example, if you failed to appear for a scheduled drug test or you failed to complete the community work service hours in the time allotted, a violation may be filed.
Once a violation is filed with the court, a hearing is usually ordered. You have a right to defend yourself at the hearing. If the court determines that you did not violate your probation you will simply continue on your probation under the original terms and conditions. If the judge decides you did violate your probation, one of three things can happen:
- The judge can violate you and revoke your probation. If this happens you will likely have to complete your suspended sentence time in jail or prison.
- The judge can continue your probation with additional terms or conditions. The judge may, for instance, require you to submit to additional drug tests or to perform additional community service hours. The length of your probation may even be extended.
- The judge can reinstate your probation without changes. This is the ideal outcome as you simply continue under the original terms of your probation.
If you have been charged with a probation violation, or are concerned that you will be charged with a probation violation, consult an experienced California probation violation attorney as soon as possible to determine what legal options you have to resolve the charge. For immediate legal help, contact San Diego criminal defense attorney Domenic J. Lombardo at (619) 232-5122 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.