Whether you didn’t report to your probation officer in person or you didn’t check-in over the phone, failing to report may trigger some legal consequences that you didn’t realize could occur.
Probation is a privilege, not a right. Failing to report often results in going back to jail, unless you can prove you had a valid reason for violating your probation.
The severity of penalties associated with violating your probation can vary, depending on your criminal history, why you violated your probation etc. But, if you have violated your probation or you’re thinking about it, there are a few key things you need to know first.
Consequences of Failing to Report to Your Probation Officer
If you fail to report to your probation officer, he or she may report you to the courts. Then, you will be requested to appear in court for a probation hearing. The sentencing judge will hear your reasons for failing to report, then the judge will consult with your probation officer for penalty recommendation.
If you are found guilty of violating your probation, the judge will determine a sentence, which could include:
- Finishing the rest of your time in jail;
- Extending your probation to a longer term;
- Order you to serve a short portion of time in jail before being released on probation again
Speak to Your Probation Officer Immediately
Your probation officer does have discretion when it comes to violation situations. If you fail to check-in, immediately contact your probation officer and explain to them why you did not check-in at the required time. Be clear about your reasons and be honest — your probation officer may want to check up on your excuse to see if it’s valid.
By speaking to your probation officer right away, he or she may be inclined to issue a warning rather than report you to the court. While deciding, your probation officer is likely to consider the severity of your failed check-in.
For example, if you are required to call in every week on a Friday by 4:00 pm and you missed a week, your probation officer may not find the violation as severe as failing to report to a monthly meeting. Your probation officer is also going to consider any previous violations and your past history while being on probation.
Know Your Rights
Even though you have violated your probation terms, you have rights. Some rights you have during a probation violation include:
- The right to a written notice of any supposed probation violations;
- The right to be heard in front of a judge in court;
- The right to an attorney;
- The right to present your own evidence and witnesses to refute evidence against you.
Get Help With Miami Probation Lawyers
Probation violations can be very serious. Therefore, you should speak to an attorney right away if your probation officer has decided to report your violation. If you have failed to report to your probation officer and you are facing a court hearing, contact Paul J. Donnelly, PA. right away.
Our team of Miami probation lawyers have handled hundreds of probation violation cases and can answer your questions as well as protect your rights during your hearing. Call today for a case evaluation by dialing 305-757-3331.