What is Probation?
If you receive a criminal conviction in Utah, your sentence may include probation. What does this mean? In general, if you are on probation, you don’t serve your sentence in a jail cell. Instead, you are released to go home but must adhere to certain restrictions or conditions. These rules or guidelines are the conditions of your probation.
Probation differs from parole. People who are paroled serve a portion of their sentence incarcerated. However, probation does not typically include time in prison or jail.
Here are a few conditions often associated with probation:
- You may have to meet with a probation officer at designated times.
- You may have to adhere to a curfew.
- You may have to remain in a designated area or within a certain proximity to your home or place of employment.
- You may have to attend counseling or participate in a court-ordered treatment program.
- You may have to submit to regular drug testing.
If you fail to adhere to the conditions of your probation agreement, you could be charged with a probation violation and may be forced to serve the remainder of your sentence in a jail cell.
Probation permits you to enjoy some degree of freedom. However, you are still required to adhere to the terms of your probation. If you do not comply with the requirements of your probation agreement, you are in violation. A probationary period usually lasts between one and three years, but it can vary based on the severity of the crime for which you were convicted.
Here are few actions that could result in a probation violation:
- Failure to appear in court at the designated time and date
- Failing to pay a court-ordered fine or restitution amount
- Traveling outside of the area indicated in your probation agreement without your probation officer’s permission
- Missing a scheduled meeting with your probation officer
- Distributing, using or being in possession of illegal drugs
- Being arrested for committing additional offenses
What Happens if You Violate Your Probation?
When you violate your probation agreement, there are multiple actions that the court can take, including the following:
- A warrant can be issued for your arrest.
- Your probationary terms can be modified to include more stringent restrictions.
- Your probation could be revoked, and you could be sent to jail or prison.
Nevertheless, before the court determines that you have violated your probation, you are given the opportunity to counter the allegations against you during a hearing. When you appear at the hearing, you can agree with or deny the accusations. If you do not agree with the allegations, prosecuting attorneys will submit evidence that you violated your probationary terms. At the end of the hearing, the court makes its determination.
Don’t Wait to Get Legal Representation – We Are Probation Violation Attorneys in Utah
If you are being charged with violating your probation in Utah, you only have a limited period in which to obtain legal representation. You need to be defended by experienced legal professionals. At Wasatch Defense Lawyers, we can offer you the experience and expertise needed for a proper defense. To speak with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Utah, contact our office today.