If you are currently serving a term of probation as a result of a criminal conviction in the State of Tennessee you likely already understand how important it is to avoid violating your probation. Of course, if you are already facing a violation you are undoubtedly wondering if you can get your probation reinstated if you only committed a technical violation. The good news is that it is possible to have your probation reinstated. It is always best to have an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney review the facts of your alleged violation in order to provide you with individualized advice. Some general information, however, about probation violations may be helpful in the meantime.
When a defendant is sentenced to probation the judge will include a number of standard and special conditions in the order of probation. All probationers are required to abide by the standard terms of probation, which include things such as:
- Reporting to your officer as directed
- Maintaining employment or enrollment in school
- Paying court costs and fines
In addition, your probation order may include “special” conditions that apply only to your probation. Those conditions might include things such as:
- Paying restitution
- Community service work
- Completion of substance abuse classes or counseling
Collectively, the standard and special conditions make up the “rules” for your term of probation. A violation of the rules will likely result in a notice of violation being filed with the court. A judge will then order a hearing at which the judge will decide how to proceed if it is determined that you did, indeed, violate your probation. Probation violations are typically divided into two categories:
- Technical – a technical violation means you failed to abide by one of the rules. It could be as simple as you failed to pay your fines and costs or you missed a scheduled appointment or it could be something more serious, such as you failed several drug tests or you refused to attend mandatory counseling.
- New arrest – when on probation, just getting arrested for a crime can be grounds for a violation.
At your probation violation hearing the judge can revoke your probation and order you to serve all, or a portion, of your suspended sentence. The judge can also reinstate your probation with or without modifying the terms. Whether or not your probation is reinstated will depend on things such as the seriousness of the technical violation, whether you have a history of violating your probation, and your overall willingness to correct the mistake.
If you are facing a probation violation in Tennessee, contact the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.