Being placed on probation can be a better alternative than incarceration in a jail or prison if you have been convicted of or pled guilty to a crime. However, you must follow certain rules while on probation.
If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, you could face serious consequences. You will need to attend a court hearing to determine whether you violated a rule and what should happen to you if you did.
Eight Common Probation Violations
There are many ways to violate the conditions of your probation in North Carolina. Here are some of the most common probation violations that result in court hearings:
- Not attending court hearings. The judge could schedule court hearings during your probation period to check on your progress. You would be in violation of your probation if you did not attend your hearing.
- Missing appointments with your probation officer. If you are placed on supervised probation, you would be assigned a probation officer and would have to attend scheduled appointments with them. Missing these appointments is a common way that you could violate your probation.
- Not being employed. If you are required to be employed or enrolled in school, which is usually a condition of probation, you would violate probation if you lose your job or are not attending school.
- Not paying fines. If you are placed on probation, you could be required to pay fines, court costs, or restitution to a victim over a period of time. It would be a probation violation to miss a payment.
- Committing a crime. An obvious probation violation would be to commit another crime while you are on probation.
- Not completing community service. The judge could sentence you to complete a certain number of hours of community service. Not doing this would be a violation of your sentence and your probation.
- Failing a drug or alcohol test. If you are ordered not to consume alcohol or drugs, you could be subject to random drug or alcohol tests. If you fail the test, you would be violating the conditions of probation.
- Visiting prohibited places or people. Depending on the crime you are convicted of committing, the judge could require you not to go to certain places or see specific individuals. If you are caught with these people or at these locations, your probation officer could report it to the court.
Probation Court Violation Hearings
A court hearing would be scheduled if you are accused of violating a term of your probation. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, your hearing would be in District Court. Your hearing would be in Superior Court if your crime were a felony.
You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you at this hearing. These hearings are conducted differently than a trial, and evidence that would not be admissible at a trial could be used by the prosecutor and your lawyer.
At your hearing, the prosecutor and your probation officer would present evidence showing that you violated a rule you were required to follow. Your attorney would then have the opportunity to produce evidence showing that there was no violation or that you had a legitimate reason for violating a requirement of probation.
At the end of the hearing, the judge would decide whether there was a probation violation. If they found there was one, you could face these consequences:
- Your probation could continue as it was originally ordered.
- You could be required to follow additional rules.
- The length of your probation could be extended for up to five years.
- You could have to serve a short jail or prison sentence before resuming probation.
- Your probation could be revoked, and you could be ordered to serve a jail or prison sentence set by the judge.
Two Ways to Appeal a Revocation of Your Probation
If your probation is revoked, you may be able to appeal the judge’s decision. There are two possible appeals you could file:
- Administrative appeal. In an administrative appeal, an administrator would review the judge’s decision. You would have to file a written appeal, including a motion and documentation supporting your appeal, within 10 days of the date that your probation was revoked. The administrator would issue a decision within 21 days.
- Judicial review. You could also appeal the decision by asking for a judicial review of the decision. This type of appeal must be filed within 45 days of the written decision revoking your probation.
Have you been accused of violating your probation? Are you facing criminal charges? Call our Charlotte office or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can defend you.
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