Probation is nearly always ordered when someone is convicted of a crime and sentenced to either jail or some other alternative punishment. Probation may be shortened provided the offender does not commit any other crimes and abides by conditions of probation. If a condition is violated and the defendant arrested, he or she can still get a bond in many instances.
An example of a probation violation is any of the following:
- Committing a new crime
- Failing to complete a court-ordered treatment program
- Making unlawful contact with the victim
- Failing to report or maintain contact with the probation officer
- Moving out of the area without permission or knowledge of the court or probation officer
- Failing to make restitution
- Violating any specific condition of probation
Should you commit a probation violation, your probation officer can petition the court to issue an arrest warrant. Once arrested, you can be held in custody for weeks until a court appearance. In some instances and depending on the nature of the violation, prior record, and your community connections, the court may release you pending your probation violation hearing.
If you committed a new crime or intentionally made illegal contact with a victim, have a prior criminal record and are unemployed, it is less likely the court will set a bond or it may set it at an unaffordable level.
If you are held in custody, you will be brought before the sentencing judge who may or may not set a bond. Whether you are released on bond or no bond, or if the judge decides not to issue a bond and keep you in custody, your next appearance will likely be the probation violation hearing although it may take several weeks for that to take place.
In these situations, a competent criminal defense lawyer can persuade a court to issue a reasonable bond. In deciding whether to issue a bond the Court will take into consideration if you are employed and can remain so, your ties to the community, your risk of fleeing the jurisdiction, whether your original charge was a violent crime, the type of new law violation, if applicable, and if the alleged violation is minor.
In any case, retain a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested on a probation violation. Having a skilled criminal defense attorney can make a big difference to the outcome of your case.