What Happens If I Get Arrested While on Probation?
From a legal perspective, receiving probation is a legal privilege that ensures a defendant avoids a jail sentence by fulfilling all court-ordered obligations and requirements.
Receiving probation generally comes with obligations such as the following:
Contributing to community service for a set number of hours
Refraining from drug and/or alcohol use
Appearing in court for scheduled appearances
Paying any restitution to victims or fines imposed by the court
If you violate these terms or commit another legal offense while on probation, a probation officer may then issue a petition to revoke the probation you were granted.
If this step is taken, a warrant is issued for the defendant's immediate arrest, and the defendant will not be able to post bond (the defendant cannot be "bailed out") until the hearing is complete.
The Petition to Revoke Probation
When a probation officer believes the probation violation was severe in nature, the officer will begin the process of petitioning the court to revoke probation as mentioned.
In practical terms, this process significantly increases the likelihood that the defendant may be sentenced to jail or prison.
A.R.S. 13-901 outlines the rules for probation revocation, one of which grants the judge legal authority to sentence a defendant to the prison sentence they would have received in place of the probation that was granted.
Worse, a judge can also order a defendant to serve consecutive terms of imprisonment when the defendant is serving multiple probation terms concurrently prior to their arrest.
The consequences of revoking probation then are severe.
Any Arizona defendant facing this process and the attached legal consequences needs an Arizona criminal defense lawyer before a hearing even takes place.
How Your Lawyer Will Help Your Probation Violation Will Help Your Case
As soon as a probation officer petitions an Arizona court to revoke probation, the defendant will receive a summons notice stating they are required to appear in court.
This notice is given prior to a defendant's arraignment.
Retaining a lawyer prior to the hearing and court proceedings will ensure that your lawyer can discuss the case with you to determine your reasons for probation noncompliance.
With this information, your attorney can then attempt to resolve the matter with the probation officer or prosecutor prior to the hearing and the potentially disastrous legal outcome.
Even if the outcome cannot be resolved prior to the hearing, your lawyer has more time to prepare your case and assert strong legal defenses that can protect your legal rights by mitigating the legal outcome of the probation violation.
At a hearing, for example, a judge may order a:
Modification in the form of extension
Revocation of probation
As discussed, the revocation of probation is the worst-case scenario that can lead to jail or prison time.
Asserting a strong legal defense can lead to a continuance, which is ideal since it simply means that the court will order the defendant to continue the current probation terms and period in spite of the violation.
Alternatively, if a continuance is not possible, your lawyer can help you receive a modification in the form of extension.
This "middle ground" outcome can include additional probation terms and/or extend the duration of the defendant's probation, but jail and prison time will still be avoided.
Arizona law's severe potential punishments for a probation violation require a lawyer who provides the strong legal defense needed when a defendant's freedom and legal rights must be protected.
Tyler Allen Law Firm is here to protect your legal rights as an Arizona defendant facing the consequences of a probation violation.
Contact us for a legal consultation to discuss your case and how we can provide you with the legal defense you need.