The following is a description of the stages of a probation violation, generally. If you have specific questions regarding an alleged probation violation that you are facing, you should feel free to discuss it with your Blanchard Law attorney.
Filing of a petition alleging a probation violation
After you have been placed on probation, if your probation officer believes that you have violated the terms and conditions of your probation, they will file a petition with the court alleging a probation violation, and asking the court to revoke your probation.
After a petition has been filed with the court alleging a probation violation, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. You will either, (1) be arrested and then arraigned on the probation violation, (2) be ordered to appear in court for a probation violation arraignment.
Probation Violation Arraignment
At the probation violation arraignment, you will be advised of your rights and of the alleged violation. The court will request that you enter a plea at that time. You should enter a plea of not guilty. Whether you have committed the alleged violation or not, pleading not guilty will give you the opportunity to either fight against a finding of guilt for the violation or negotiate a more favorable resolution.
The judge will also set a bond at the probation violation arraignment. You may be required to post a bond in order to stay out of jail while the probation violation is pending. For more serious violations, the judge can deny bond, and you will remain in jail until the probation violation hearing.
After the arraignment, the court will schedule a hearing regarding the alleged probation violation. At this hearing, the prosecuting attorney will present evidence regarding the alleged violation in the form of witness testimony or documentary evidence. Your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses against you.
After the prosecutor has finished presenting their witnesses, you will have the opportunity to present witnesses in your favor, as well as any documentary evidence that is favorable to you.
The prosecutor will have a final opportunity to present evidence to rebut the evidence that you presented. Then, the attorneys will make arguments to the judge regarding the evidence that was presented.
If the judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that you committed the alleged probation violation, he or she will find you guilty of the probation violation, and will move to sentencing on the probation violation. If the judge finds that the prosecutor did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you committed the alleged probation violation, the judge will find you not guilty, and you will continue on your previously ordered term of probation.
If you have been found guilty of a probation violation, the judge will resentence you on the original charges. The judge has significant discretion in sentencing on a probation violation.
The judge can revoke probation, and sentence you to a period of incarceration. For misdemeanor cases, this period of incarceration may be up to the maximum period of incarceration allowed for the offense. (Generally, either 93 days or 1 year.) For felony offenses, this can involve sentencing you to either jail or prison time, depending on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the underlying offense, the seriousness of the probation violation, and the sentencing guidelines.
The judge can also choose to extend probation rather than revoke it, giving you a longer period of probation. If the judge extends probation, they may also give you a period of incarceration in the county jail in addition to extending probation.
The judge can also sentence you to additional fines and costs, and may alter or add to the terms and conditions of your probation.