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Here's what happens if you violate probation

Probation is a time when you leave detention in exchange for your good behavior. For example, if you go to court and the judge decides that you can have probation instead of prison time as long as you follow the rules of the probation, then you're held to the terms of probation instead of being placed in a prison.

If you violate probation, there's a chance you could face the prison sentence you faced originally. There are many ways to violate probation that you should understand, so you can avoid violating it at all costs.

1. You didn't go to court on time

One of the terms many people on probation face is the requirement to appear in court at set dates and times. Your probationary terms may have you attend court weekly, biweekly, monthly or on other terms. If you fail to show up to court without a valid excuse, then you can be held accountable for violating probation.

2. You don't get permission to travel

If your probation limits you to a certain distance from your home, traveling beyond that without permission is a violation of your probation. If you seek permission from the probation officer, there's a chance you can go out of state or out of the range granted to you for a short time.

3. You don't stay out of trouble

One of the terms of probation is that you're out on good behavior. If you violate probation by committing another crime, you could be imprisoned for the act or face other penalties.

What happens if you violate probation?

If you violate probation, you may receive a warning or could be asked to go to court. There are no specific rules for what happens, and it's broadly up to your probation officer to decide what happens next. If you go to court, the court holds a hearing to determine if you violated the terms of your probation. If so, you will be sentenced. Your probation may end and you could face a prison sentence.

Your attorney can help represent you in court to make sure you don't face penalties you don't deserve. You have rights at a probation hearing, and since the judge has broad discretion over the penalties you face, an attorney can help you fight unfair punishments.

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