When a defendant in a criminal case receives probation rather than jail time, this is a fortuitous outcome. Still, the terms of probation must be met, whether those terms require community service or abstaining from drugs. When court-ordered rules are ignored or are otherwise not fulfilled, probation may be revoked.
Violations That May Lead to Probation Being Revoked
A number of factors may lead to the state alleging that probation has been violated. Common behaviors that lead to probation violation include:
- Failure to appear for a scheduled court appearance
- Failing to pay court-ordered fines and/or restitution
- Traveling to or visiting certain places without a probation officer’s consent
- Using, possessing or selling illegal substances
- Being arrested for a separate crime or offense
- Failing to check in with a probation officer when reports are required
Actions a Court May Take When a Violation Occurs
For a minor probation violation, the person on probation may be fortunate enough to receive a warning. This is not a common outcome, but this warning will be delivered by a probation officer. The officer will warn the person in violation of probation that a future probation infraction could lead to a probation hearing that could lead to negative consequences.
More often, however, the probation officer will view the violation as severe. In such cases, the Arizona Revised Statutes Rules of Criminal Procedure stipulate that an Arizona probation department may then petition the court to revoke probation, as governed by A.R.S. Rules Crim.Proc., Rule 27.8.
This process ultimately leads toward the defendant appearing in court before a judge who will review the probation violations. If the defendant chooses not to admit the violation or an admission is not accepted, then a violation hearing is scheduled. A probation officer will then attempt to prove that a violation took place by looking at a preponderance of the evidence. If the officer believes a violation occurred, then a final court hearing will be scheduled to determine whether probation should be revoked, modified or continued. Revocation is the worst outcome from a defendant’s perspective.
Consequences of Probation Revocation
Probation revocation is a process governed by A.R.S. 13-901. This statute gives the courts a great deal of leeway on how to handle the probation revocation process, depending on the defendant’s probation terms and circumstances. If, for example, a defendant would have served as a prison sentence had it not been for probation, a judge may choose to simply remand the defendant to prison to serve the original sentence.
Alternatively, if the probation terms involved serving jail time before being placed on lifetime probation, the court could then require additional jail time after a violation of this nature. If a defendant is serving multiple concurrent terms of probation and violates said terms, then the defendant may be sentenced to serve both terms consecutively.
In short, there a number of potential outcomes from having probation revoked, none of which are good. The stakes are high during the revocation process, and it is essential to note that defendant’s may appeal these decisions when probation is unjustly revoked. An Arizona defense attorney will fight to have probation revocation reversed when the court has erred in its decision making by proving that the revocation was legally arbitrary and unsupported by any theory of evidence.
While it is of course ideal to avoid the issue entirely by following probation terms, the revocation process requires representation from a proven defense lawyer who will do everything possible to reverse the disastrous outcomes of probation revocation.
The lawyers at Tyler Allen Law Firm are ready to give you a reliable, personal defense. Give us a call today at (602)456-0545.