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While probation offers some liberties incarceration might not, it is still a criminal sentence with strict rules. Any violation of your probation could lead to serious consequences, and there are many unfortunate situations when you might not even realize that your behavior constitutes a violation. If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation, contact Gemma & Karimi, LLP immediately for legal counsel. The firm is led by a team of former prosecutors who are intimately familiar with both the prosecution and defense sides of the Indiana criminal justice system, so they can effectively strategize your next steps if you’ve been charged with a violation of your probation.
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What Constitutes a Probation Violation in Indiana?
If law enforcement has reason to believe you have violated a term of your probation, they can arrest or detain you. Generally, a person violates probation if they disobey the provisions set forth in their probation requirements or break the law and commit another crime. Probation often requires individuals to refrain from using drugs or alcohol, paying probation fees, meeting regularly with a probation officer, and passing drug screens.
That being said, some common examples of probation violations are:
- being arrested or convicted of another criminal offense;
- failing a drug test administered by police or the probation officer;
- failing to check in with the probation officer as routinely required;
- failing to attend required rehabilitation or counseling;
- leaving the jurisdiction of the probation without seeking permission;
- violating a specific curfew set out in the probation requirements;
- violating a home confinement requirement;
- not paying required fees associated with the probation or offense.
An experienced probation lawyer can better help examine the accusations against you in the context of your probation requirements. Sometimes, law enforcement can be particularly strict about the legal jargon, but a good lawyer can advocate for your case and argue down the severity of an alleged violation. Probation violations are not the end of the world, but the court does treat them seriously, as probation is a more liberal alternative to a traditional jail sentence.
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The repercussions for violating probation can be serious, depending on how substantial the violation was. In some instances, the responsible probation officers might add additional probation requirements like more community service or enhanced drug testing to the existing provisions. In more serious cases, the offender may lose their chance at probation and be required to carry out the remainder of their sentence in prison.
The exact penalties for a probation violation will depend, but they may include:
- enhanced jail time or longer probation compared to the original sentence;
- returning to prison for the remainder of the probationary sentence;
- an enhancement of the original sentence to the maximum penalty for the offense;
- no longer being able to post bond in the future for an arrest;
- beginning new counseling or drug rehabilitation;
- more frequent substance abuse tests and check-ins.
Note that the probation officer has the authority to dole out the consequences. They may decide to deal with the violations internally and simply add requirements to the probation term, or they might file an official notice of violation with the court. In the latter case, the court will set a probation violation hearing and possibly issue a warrant for the violator’s arrest. A probation violation may be filed in the court up to 1 year after the completion of probation or 45 days after the state receives notice of the violation.
Probation violation proceedings can be confusing to navigate, especially if they end up in court. If you have been unfairly accused of violating your probation or have questions about your probationary terms, do not hesitate to contact Gemma & Karimi, LLP for legal asistance. The firm can take a detailed look at your situation and discuss your best course of action that meets your goals. Led by a team of former prosecutors, Gemma & Karimi, LLP is deeply aware of how the criminal justice system deals with probation and can help guide you through all the legal steps of resolving your case.
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