Common Probation Violations

Following an initial sentence, probation is an interim period that allows offenders to stay out of incarceration under court-ordered conditions and restrictions. It is an opportunity that might be available in cases involving less severe criminal charges, first-time offenders, and other mitigating circumstances. Probation sometimes require a mandated rehab or community service program to demonstrate good behavior, and the offender may or may not be supervised by a probation officer.

Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, you could still be violating the terms of your probation without being aware of it. These violations could put you under more restrictive constraints, prolong your probation period, or subject you to the jail time you’re trying to avoid. Below are some common probation violations to be mindful of, and what you should do to steer clear of them. If you are accused of a probation violation, contact a Fargo criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Failing to Pay Fines on Time

Depending on the crime you were convicted for, you might be court-ordered to pay fines or restitution to the persons who were harmed by your actions. Unfortunately, if you’re even the slightest bit off the payment schedule arranged by your judge, knowingly or unknowingly, you could face a probation violation. It’s a much more serious expenditure to miss than your phone bill, so be sure to keep tabs on and meet every payment deadline.

Failing to Attend Meetings On Time

If your probation period is being supervised by an officer, you will be required to meet with them on their terms to review your progress. Likewise, the judge may order additional court hearings for that same purpose. If you miss even a single meeting, that could be sufficient grounds to report you for a probation violation, so definitely keep those dates on the agenda alongside your restitution payment deadlines.

Failing to Complete Work

Community service orders will require you to meet a set number of service hours. If you fail to meet the required service hours or fail to meet them before the deadline, that can constitute a probation violation. Likewise, if your probation terms require you to find employment or register for schooling and you fail to do so, those are additional violations. The court may provide educational or vocational training programs to assist with this process, so take advantage of these resources if they are available. 

Failing to Adhere to Legal Standards

Under court order, you may be prohibited from meeting certain people or being present at certain places associated with your crimes, whether it’s the people affected by your crimes or those you committed crimes with. For instance, if your crimes were related to alcohol or being in a bar they could be grounds for violation. You will also face a violation if you are arrested and accused of further criminal conduct.

Our Fargo Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help

If you’re facing a probation violation case, you want representation you can trust from Fargo criminal defense attorney. To obtain the best criminal defense in the area, email Tatum O’Brien or call the O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys team at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 toll-free.