Probation is a sentencing option available to a judge when a defendant has entered into a plea agreement relating to a criminal offense or been found guilty of a criminal offense at trial. If you were sentenced to serve a period of time on probation and have been notified of a probation violation filed against you after your probation ended you undoubtedly want to know “Can they violate my probation after the probation term has ended?”
Because of the importance of the specific facts and circumstances involved in a notice of probation violation it is always best to consult with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney when you have questions or concerns relating to the notice; however, as a general rule you cannot be subject to a probation violation filed after your probation has ended because you are no longer under the supervision and jurisdiction of the sentencing court once your probation has ended. The key issue, however, is whether or not your probation was actually done at the time the violation was filed.
All too often people are under the belief that their period of probation is over when, in fact, it is not. Your probation is only over when a judge says it is over. Although you may have been given an “end date” when you were originally sentenced, that date was only a projected end date. There are a number of things that could have caused your probation to extend beyond that date. The most common reason is a probationer’s failure to complete the special conditions of probation prior to the projected end date. For example, if you were required to complete anger management classes as a condition of your probation but did not get them done before your projected termination date your probation was likely extended in order for you to get them done.
When a probationer is eligible to be taken off probation the probation officer will typically send a notice to the sentencing court for official action. Until the judge approves the termination of your probation you are still on probation. Therefore, if the probation violation as filed while you were still officially on probation, even if you thought you were done, you could still face consequences if the allegations in the violation are found to be true. This is one of the many reasons that it is important to have your Tennessee criminal defense attorney explain the terms and conditions of your probation order to you as well as to check with your attorney when you believe you should be done with your probation.
If you have been notified that a probation violation has been filed against you it is in your best interest to consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule a free consultation.