What Is a Violation of Probation?

A violation of probation is the criminal offense that is charged when you are accused of not following the terms of your probation sentence. When you are placed on probation, you are given certain terms and conditions by the court. These terms and conditions are the rules that the court expects you to follow if you want to remain out of jail. If you don’t follow all the terms and conditions exactly as they are set out for you, then you violate your probation and become subject to additional legal penalties.

Violations of probation are reported by your probation officer. The probation officer or “P.O.” submits an affidavit to the judge stating the reasons he or she feels you have not complied with the rules and restrictions of your release. The judge then signs a warrant for your arrest. This initiates the violation of probation process.

Technical Violation vs. Substantive Violation

A technical violation of probation means that you broke a rule or condition of your probation as it was set out in your probation order. Technical violations are still a violation of probation. The most common technical violations are

  • Not paying court fees or restitution on time
  • Being away from your house after curfew
  • Failing to report to your probation officer
  • Changing your residence or leaving town without permission
  • Positive drug tests

A substantive violation is also known as a “new law violation.” If you have a substantive violation it means while you were on probation you committed a new crime. These are seen as more serious than technical violations.

No matter what type of violation you have, the punishment can be the same. So it is best to try to avoid the violation all together.

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