In San Diego California, a judge has the option to sentence a defendant to a term of probation in lieu of, or in addition to, a term of incarceration. If you have been sentenced to probation then you should know there are a variety of rules and regulations that must be followed while you are on probation. Although the terms and conditions of probation will vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the probationer’s case, everyone who is placed on probation is required to report to his or her probation officer as directed. Missing your appointment with your probation officer could result in a probation violation in San Diego.
All too often a defendant is sentenced to probation and pays very little attention to the terms and conditions of that probation. A defendant is frequently so relieved to have escaped a jail or prison term that he or she hears very little else at the sentencing hearing. Unfortunately, this often leads to a probation violation down the road because the defendant failed to understand what he or she was ordered to do as part of the probation sentence. More importantly, defendants commonly fail to understand that the judge may have actually sentenced them to a term of incarceration but suspended that sentence and allowed the defendant to serve that time on probation instead of in jail. The reason this distinction is important is because a violation of the terms and/or conditions of probation will often result in the judge revoking the suspension of the sentence and ordering the defendant to actually serve his or her sentence in jail or prison.
Missing your appointment with your probation officer is clearly a violation of the terms and conditions of your probation unless you have a very good reason for missing the appointment. If you missed your appointment and were unable to contact your probation officer ahead of time you will likely need to provide proof that justifies missing your appointment. Your probation officer likely has a significant amount of discretion when it comes to excusing a missed appointment or filing a violation because of the missed appointment. If you had a true emergency that prevented you from making it to your appointment and you have had a positive relationship with your officer up to this point your officer will likely excuse you from missing the appointment. If, however, you cannot provide proof of an emergency that prevented you from making it to your appointment and/or your interaction with your officer up to this point has been less than positive there is a good chance a probation violation will be filed against you.
Whether it is because you missed a probation appointment or because you have potentially violated any other term or condition of your probation you should contact a San Diego criminal defense attorney right away if you are concerned that a probation violation will be filed against you.
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