What Happens If I Violate My Probation?

Probation Rules in Michigan

Since probation is a privilege and not a right, it is important to treat it accordingly. Many judges sentence convicted offenders to probation as an alternative to incarceration. Not everyone is granted probation, though. Depending on the nature of the person’s offense, criminal history, medical history, and family upbringing, among other factors, a judge may decide to place a defendant on community supervision, or probation, rather than punish them with jail time.

Probation is ideal because it allows you to serve your sentence out in the community. As such, you must follow strict rules and conditions every single day, otherwise, you may end up in jail. The state of Michigan imposes countless conditions of probation, some of which include:

  • Do not break the laws
  • Do not leave the state without the court’s consent
  • Report to your probation officer as required
  • Pay victim restitution
  • Pay other court-related fees
  • Engage in community service
  • Submit to random drug testing
  • Participate in counseling and treatment at your own expense
  • Be under house arrest

Probation Violations: Technical vs. Substantive

As you can see from above, the rules of probation are tough and can be intense. Living by strict rules in your daily life can be difficult, which is why probation violations are understandably common. Probation violations are categorized as technical and substantive violations. Continue reading to learn the difference between the two.

Technical violation of probation: This means the violation is not a new felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense. Essentially, it means that you have not committed a new crime but rather broke one or more different rules of your probation. Examples of technical violations include:

  • Testing positive on a drug test
  • Failing to pay court fees
  • Violating curfew
  • Failing to report a change in residence
  • Traveling outside of community bounds without permission
  • Failing to attend mandated meetings, programs, and treatments
  • Engaging in criminal activity

Substantive violation of probation: On the other hand, a substantive violation means you committed a new offense while on probation for a prior offense. A substantive violation only requires you to have been charged for a crime, not convicted, which is scary to think about because it means that any criminal accusation could be enough to derail your entire probation sentence, causing it to be extended, suspended, or revoked altogether.

Accused of Violating Your Probation?

Our Okemos criminal defense attorneys understand the impacts a probation violation can have on your freedom and future, which is why we will work closely with the probation officer and court judge to negotiate for the most favorable outcome in your case. Our mission is to help minimize the consequences of your reported violation and fight for the second chance you need and deserve.

Let’s get to work. Please contact us at (517) 316-1195 today!