If an individual has been accused with violating the terms of their probation, the alleged violation may be either a Technical Violation of Probation or a Substantive Violation of Probation.
A Technical Violation of Probation involves failure to adhere to the administrative or special conditions of their probation such as an unreported change of address, missed meetings with their probation officer, not paying court costs, or failure to complete court ordered classes or programs.
A Substantive Violation of Probation involves committing or being directly associated with a new crime or criminal act.
Since a violation of probation is not considered a new crime, but a breach of a court order which provided provisions for being awarded probation instead of jail or prison time, if a probation violation is proven to have been committed, the court may choose to revoke your probation and impose a term of incarceration based on the sentencing guidelines of the original crime you were convicted of.
If you are currently serving a period of court ordered probation and the violation of your probation was the act of committing a new crime, even if you are found "not guilty" of the new alleged crime, the court has the authority to revoke your probation and reinstate the original conviction and sentencing guidelines. Unlike your original trial, in a violation of probation hearing, the prosecution must only prove that a "preponderance of the evidence" existed.
Due to the reduced standards of proof required to show that a violation of one’s probation has been committed, it is extremely important to seek the advice and representation of experienced legal counsel.
Because you are already on probation your credibility may already be an issue in the defense of a probation violation accusation or other additional criminal charges. Experienced legal counsel may speak on your behalf in a probation hearing or other legal matters, providing a voice of experience and reason in an effort to prove your innocence, or in the case of a technical violation of probation, that an honest oversight or special circumstances existed which should not warrant your probation to be revoked.
CRAIG A. SONNER