If you were sentenced by a judge to spend time on probation, there were undoubtedly a number of conditions associated with your probation that must be met to successfully terminate your sentence. What happens if you cannot comply with or complete one of those conditions? A Murfreesboro probation violation lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains what the likely consequences will be if you fail to complete all your conditions of probation in Tennessee.
Probation is frequently misunderstood. Probation is a type of sentencing alternative that may be ordered in addition to, or in lieu of, a period of incarceration in the county jail. Moreover, the time spent on probation is usually part of a suspended sentence, meaning that a judge will sentence the defendant to a period of time in jail, but then suspend that time and allow the defendant to serve the suspended time on probation. By way of illustration, you might be sentence to a year in jail, but the judge could suspend that sentence and order you to a year on probation. Understanding how a suspended sentence works is important because if you violate your probation, you could spend some (or all) of that suspended sentence in jail.
Conditions of Probation
Typically, both standard and special conditions are part of the terms of probation. Standard conditions are conditions that everyone sentenced to probation must follow, or comply with, while on probation. Examples of standard conditions of probation include:
- Reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis
- Maintaining employment or enrollment in school
- Not getting arrested while on probation
- Paying all court costs and fees
- Abstaining from alcohol and drugs
Although not all probation sentences include special conditions, many do. These are conditions tailored to you, the criminal offense for which you were convicted, or even your criminal history in general. For example, if you are convicted of driving under the influence, you might be required to complete an alcohol rehabilitation program. Some common examples of special conditions of probation include:
- Attendances at a class, such as anger management or substance abuse classes
- Payment of restitution to a victim
- Having an evaluation done, such as a substance abuse evaluation or a mental health evaluation
- A “No contact order” that prohibits you from having any contact with someone.
Consequences of Failing to Complete a Condition of Probation
If you fail to comply with conditions of your probation, your probation officer has the option to file an official violation with the sentencing court. How the judge will handle the violation will depend on a variety of factors. For example, if you failed to report to your probation officer one time and had a valid explanation for the failure to appear, the court might simply issue a verbal warning. If you did not complete a court ordered rehabilitation program, the judge might give you a second chance but extend your probation to allow time to complete the program. On the other hand, if you were arrested for another criminal offense or you repeatedly violated a no contact order the judge will be more likely to revoke your probation and send you to jail.
You do have a right to defend a probation violation allegation and to have an attorney represent you in court. Because a probation violation could result in jail time, you should take the conditions of your probation seriously and consult with an attorney if you believe you are unable to comply with or complete any of them.
Contact a Murfreesboro Drug Defense Lawyer
If you have failed to complete a condition of your probation in Tennessee, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro probation violation lawyer as soon as possible. In Tennessee contact a Murfreesboro probation violation lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.