When a defendant is placed on probation for a crime, certain conditions of probation must be met. Failure to meet those conditions will result in a probation violation. Whether or not you will go to jail at this point depends on several factors. If you failed to meet the conditions of your probation, call an attorney before you are arrested to attempt to avoid the most severe consequences.
Types of Probation
Probation gives an individual an opportunity to stay out of jail and show good behavior by requiring certain conditions to be met while under supervision. Depending on the nature of the crime committed and the charges filed against you, you may be offered one of two types of probation in Missouri:
- Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS) – under an SIS, the court withholds a defendant’s sentence while he or she is on probation. Once the terms of probation are completed, the case will be dismissed and you will avoid a conviction. If the conditions of probation are violated, however, the court can then impose the sentence for the initial crime.
- Suspended Execution of Sentence (SES) – under an SES, a conviction and sentence are imposed, however, the execution of the sentence is suspended. Although SES probation is still considered a criminal conviction, it affords a defendant the chance to avoid jail. As with a SIS probation violation, if a condition of probation is not met, the court can then execute the original sentence.
What Happens When You Violate Probation
Violation of probation can occur in a number of ways. Some of the more common reasons for a violation are:
- Committing a new criminal offense
- Failure to pay restitution
- Failure to obey your probation officer
If you’ve violated the terms of your probation, one of two things will occur. A warrant will be issued for your arrest by the court or by the probation officer, or you will receive notice of a court date where the court will hear the circumstances of the violation, known as a probation revocation hearing. Like any criminal proceeding, you can admit to the accusation or you can fight the charges against you.
After the probation revocation hearing, the court has multiple options on how to handle your probation violation. The court can revoke the probation, modify or extend your probation, order house arrest, or impose a jail sentence among other options.
Don’t Fight Your Probation Violation Alone
Depending on the underlying crime committed and the violation of your probation, you can face heavy consequences including going to jail. Contact an attorney right away if you believe you’ve committed a violation of the terms of your probation. An attorney can advise you on the likely consequences of the violation as well as provide representation at the probation revocation hearing. You don’t need to fight for your rights and freedom alone, a qualified criminal defense lawyer can provide you with the advice and support needed to achieve the best outcome possible.