Probation Violations & Revocations
What is a probation violation?
Probation is a type of supervisory sentence imposed by the judge that will allow you to be released back into the community in lieu of jail time. In essence, a sentence of probation is a second chance and a new beginning. In the state of Missouri, you can be on felony or misdemeanor probation. While on probation, a probationee will have a suspended sentence—a jail or prison sentence that will not be executed if the probationee successfully completes his term of probation. There are two types of suspended sentences:
- a Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS)
- a Suspended Execution of Sentence (SES)
Probation supervision will include various terms and conditions that you must satisfy in order to remain in compliance. If you fail to satisfy one of these conditions or you become arrested on a new offense, you are considered in violation of your probation.
How is probation violated?
The court has wide discretion in determining the terms of your probation in accordance with the State of Missouri Probation & Parole guidelines. A judge can issue any term or condition of your probation as long as it bears a rational relationship to the offense for which you were placed on probation for in the first place. A violation of any of these terms can subject you to severe criminal consequences. Here are a few common probation violations:
- Failure to pay restitution
- Failure to pay a court ordered fine or intervention fees
- Failure to attend court mandated programs, such as SATOP or REACT
- Failure to report to your probation officer
- Traveling out of state without express permission from Probation & Parole
- Failure to test negative for a probation required drug test
- Association with convicted felons
- Failure to complete a court ordered drug and/or alcohol treatment program
- Commission of a new criminal offense
Probation violation consequences and your rights
If you are believed to be in violation of your probation, you may face severe consequences for violation of the terms of your probation. You can be subject to arrest and taken before the court for what is known as a probation revocation hearing. At this hearing, the judge will determine if you have in fact violated the terms of your probation. If you are found to be in violation, your probation can be modified or revoked and the judge can impose a jail sentence or even a prison sentence depending on the underlying offense that placed you on probation in the first place.
Facing a judge at a probation revocation hearing alone without aggressive representation is a terrible idea. You have an absolute right to a lawyer at this type of hearing.
If you are confronted with accusations of violating your probation, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with such cases. An attorney can advocate for positive outcomes in a probation revocation hearing, such as:
- reinstatement of your probation
- extension of your probation for 1-5 years
- placement in a drug treatment facility (out-patient or in-patient)
- placement on a new payment plan (if probationee owes the court restitution, court costs, intervention fees, etc.)
- placement in the EHD program (Electronic Home Detention) or “House Arrest” program
- conversion of your SIS into a SES sentence
If you are confronted with accusations of violating your probation, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with such cases. Attorney Joe Pate at the Law Office of the Ozarks provides the experience, skill and personalized attention to protect you and your future.