The restrictions placed on you while on probation in Tennessee can make many things in life more difficult. Despite the complexity of this time, violations of the terms of your probation can make your life even more difficult. If you violated your probation, it is critical to take quick action to protect your interests and work to mitigate the potential penalties.
What is a probation violation and what happens next?
There are many circumstances that could be considered a violation of your probation. Generally, this happens if you ignore, avoid or refuse to comply with the terms of the agreement at any point during the probationary period. Some of the most common violations include:
- Not appearing at a scheduled court appearance
- Not paying any required fines or restitution
- Not reporting to the probation officer
- Traveling out of state without permission
- Committing other crimes
- Selling or possessing illegal drugs
It can be difficult to remember to comply with all of the terms of your probation, and, in some cases, a violation may be inadvertent. However, the penalties for violating these terms can be serious, whether it was intentional or not. After this, you could be required to appear before a judge at a probation hearing.
If there is sufficient evidence to prove that you violated the terms of your probation, the judge will determine your sentence. Possible consequences may include:
- Jail time
- Extending the time of your probationary period
- Adding additional requirements to your probation
Judges have broad discretion when determining the consequences of a probation violation, making it extremely important to have experienced legal counsel advocating for your interests. In some circumstances, it may be possible to minimize the impact of your mistake.
Know your rights; protect your interests
Violating the terms of your probation in no way minimizes your right to defend yourself or seek lesser penalties. You have the right to receive notice of your alleged violations, to have your case heard by an impartial judge and to secure the help of a defense attorney to challenge the evidence against you.
Probation can be complicated, but your life can become infinitely more complicated if you fail to appropriately respond to allegations of probation violations. A violation is a serious offense, and it is critical to protect your interests by knowing your rights and working to secure the best possible outcome for your situation.