If you have been convicted of a criminal offense in Tennessee and are serving a period of time on probation as a result it is imperative that you not violate the terms of that probation. Violating the terms of your probation can lead to a return to incarceration. All too often, probationers are uncertain about the terms of their probation. For example, we are often asked “ Can I be violated for failing a drug test in Tennessee? ” The answer to that specific question is “yes”.
When faced with the possibility of a prison sentence, most defendants will jump at a plea agreement that calls for approbation only. While this is understandable, it frequently leads to misunderstandings and even violations down the road if the defendant fails to abide by the conditions of probation. First, it helps to understand the part that probation typically plays in a sentence. As a general rule, the judge will actually sentence you to a term of imprisonment but then suspend the sentence and allow you to serve the time on probation instead of in jail or prison. What people often fail to understand is that they have already been sentenced to a period of incarceration. For example, you might be sentenced to a year in jail with all time not already served suspended and ordered to serve that time on probation. Should you violate your probation, the judge can simply revoke your probation and order you to serve your original sentence of one year in jail.
Because probation typically includes a laundry list of standard and special conditions there are a seemingly endless number of ways in which you can violate your probation. Failing a drug test is often one of those ways. Typically, the standard conditions of probation include the conditions that you not commit any new crimes and that you not use illegal drugs. Whether or not you are regularly drug tested may be at the discretion of your probation officer or may be a special condition of your probation. Either way, failing a drug test is clearly a violation of your probation.
If you have failed a drug test or are concerned that you are going to fail one it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A violation does not always mean a return to jail. Your attorney may be able to prevent such a drastic outcome; however, the key is to consult with an attorney immediately. Contact the Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.