A probation violation can be serious and result in a re-sentencing and increased penalties. In most misdemeanors and felonies defendants are given probation, usually 3 years but it can be 5 years for offenses like drunk driving or other charges, usually felonies. Probation is informal on misdemeanors and usually formal on felonies. Informal probation means you are not supervised but your case is still active and you are subject to being re-sentenced up to the remaining maximum time and fine on the case during the period of probation if you violate. Formal probation you are more closely monitored and have to check in with probation usually every month, or as directed. A robation violation is triggered by failing to comply wih the terms and conditions of probation.
With informal probation, as long as you complete any requirements and the Court is not aware of any violations, the probation simply expires after the 3 years or whatever period was imposed. The most common terms include violate no laws other than minor traffic, usually there are fines to be paid or programs completed, there may be 4th waivers (search and seizure) during probation. These affirmative obligations have deadlines for payment or proof of completion etc., if the requirements are not met per the deadline then a warrant is issued and there is a probation violation. Additionally, if you are arrested or charged with a new misdemeanor or felony, a computer search finds your probation case and it is swept into Court with the new case resulting in allegations of a violation of probation in addition to the new case.
Courts will recall the warrant when you surrender in the Courtroom by adding your case on or are picked up on a warrant. The Judge could re-sentence you with additional custody or fines and extend probation, or could reinstate probation giving you another chance to complete whatever you failed to do. Every violation is different based on the specific violation and the explanation for the violation. You do have a right to a hearing, just in front of a Judge, to have the violation proved and to defend against the allegations.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can get your misdemeanor or DUI warrant recalled without you going to Court, explain the problem, get re-referrals to programs if necessary and try to avoid any additional consequences. Felony probation violations require you to appear with the attorney, many times if you walk in…you walk out rather than being arrested. Contact Christoph Law Offices for a free consultation, rated highest in legal ability and ethical standards and over 30 years across from the Vista Courts, we can help you.