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Defending Yourself After a Probation Violation

If you are currently on probation, it's likely you were able to avoid additional time in jail by agreeing to comply with the terms of your probation. However, probation can be difficult because the terms are likely to require that you do not engage in certain activities, refrain from contacting certain people, avoid certain places and pass all drug tests.

While you were probably determined to abide by the terms of your probation at the outset, a temporary moment of weakness may have gotten the better of you. Alternatively, it might be that you accidentally violated the terms of your probation. If you are worried about the consequences of a probation violation, it's important that you take the time to understand how the law will apply to your situation. The following is an overview of what happens after probation is allegedly violated, and how you can go about defending yourself.

Request to appear in court

When it's believed that you violated your probation, what happens immediately after will depend on the discretion of your probation officer. It's likely that the severity and type of violation will play a factor in what will happen next. If your violation was significant, you will receive a request to appear in court.

Determination of probation violation

At your court appearance, the prosecuting attorney will try to prove that a violation occurred. Their goal will be to prove that the likelihood of the violation is more than 50%. They will use evidence to try to argue this, and other information such as your history of prior violations. You have the right to contest any of this evidence and to be represented by an attorney during your court appearance.


If you are found guilty, sentencing will take place soon after. You may face jail time, or you may face an extended probation sentence. Many factors will be considered when deciding on the type and length of your sentence, including whether you were a repeat offender as well as the seriousness of the violation.

If you have been accused of violating your probation, it is important that you take this seriously. You should take swift action so that you are able to explain and defend yourself in the event that you are required to appear in court.