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The Consequences of Violating a Felony Probation

When you are found guilty of a felony offense, the judge may decide to impose a probation sentence instead of jail time. While you should be happy to receive probation, you must also understand that it is not a jail escape card. Probation often comes with strict terms and conditions that, if violated, can result in harsher punishment or even jail terms. 

Keep reading as we explore what you need to know about felony probation violations. 

Defining Felony Probation

Some common felony offenses include assault, burglary, grand theft, and manslaughter.

According to the U.S. criminal justice system, felony probation is a court-imposed sentence for someone convicted of a crime considered a felony under state criminal statutes. 

If a judge decides to put you on felony probation, your sentence will be suspended or deferred. However, you will be required to report to a probation officer regularly and comply with other conditions imposed by the court. 

“Common felony probation conditions include community service, drug tests, and restitution to the victims of your crime,” says criminal defense attorney Teresa DiNardi. Your probation officer will also keep track of your compliance with probation conditions and can recommend to the court that your probation be revoked if you fail to comply with any outlined terms.

Types of Felony Probation Violation

Technical violations involve any actions that violate the terms and conditions of your probation without directly leading to a new crime. Examples may include missing a probation appointment or failing to complete a community service project. 

On the other hand, substantive violations involve any action that directly leads to a new crime while still on probation. For example, if you are serving probation for theft and you are arrested for carjacking, you will be punished for carjacking and violating your theft probation. 

Consequences of Violating a Felony Probation

The consequences of a felony probation violation will depend on many factors, including the seriousness of the violation and the evidence the prosecutor will present. The court might also consider whether it is the first time the probationer has violated probation. 

The best possible outcome for violating felony probation is reinstating the existing probation’s terms and conditions. This is most likely to happen for first-time probation violators and is subject to the seriousness of the underlying offense. 

In other cases, the court might decide to modify the terms and conditions of the probation. While modification of probation terms is better than going to jail, this decision puts the probationer under stricter conditions to try and compel them to comply with probation terms. 

In the worst-case scenario, the court might decide to revoke your probation and send you to prison. Revocation of probation will occur when the probationer commits a severe crime that makes them a threat to the community.

When You are Charged with Violating a Felony Probation

The consequences of violating felony probation can be detrimental to the probationer. The judge can modify the probation terms, making them stricter, or revoke probation and send you to prison or jail.

If you are accused of a felony probation violation, a good rule of thumb is to seek legal counsel immediately. A criminal defense lawyer can help you build a solid defense against the charges you face and help minimize the penalties you receive. 

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