A probation violation is a frightening concept. For one, you can face substantial prison time if you are on probation for a felony. Even a misdemeanor probation violation can result in jail time.
Secondly, probation violations are easy for the state to prove. There is no jury. The hearing occurs before a judge. And that standard of proof is far below the trial standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor can prove by the greater weight of the evidence that you violated a condition of your probation, the court will find you in violation and will sentence you accordingly.
It is oftentimes favorable to the accused to resolve a probation violation through a plea. When dealing with a probation violation, your probation can either be reinstated - and therefore modified - or revoked. A probation revocation means that the sentence will result in your probation being terminated. This usually means that you will serve some jail or prison time.
If you are to be reinstated to probation, you could also serve a jail sentence and be placed back on probation upon the completion of your sentence.
Most reinstatements will include a modification of your original conditions of probation. If you violate probation and resolve your case so that you will avoid jail and remain on probation, you can expect for your probation to be extended or have added conditions such as classes or community hours.
Felony probation violations will not have bond amounts attached to them, which means that unless you are able to get a bond pending the outcome of your probation violation, you will remain in custody. Most misdemeanor violations will have bond amounts so you should be able to bond out pending resolution of your case.
Eric Matheny is a Miami probation violation lawyer and Broward probation violation lawyer.