Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law

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Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law

If you were convicted of a crime in Los Angeles, your prison sentence may be “suspended” in favor of a probation term. The judge may choose to release you to your community under your probation officer’s supervision, depending on your charges and the circumstances surrounding your case. Being on probation does not mean you are free from the constraints of the legal system. People on probation are under constant monitoring and supervision by the government. People who violate the conditions of their probation will be re-arrested, brought back to court, and may be made to serve the rest of their term in prison.

Probation is undoubtedly preferable to a prison sentence, but it is not without its disadvantages. People on probation are restricted from certain activities and must abide by rules imposed by the court. These rules are sometimes difficult to follow, resulting in a probation violation. If you have violated the conditions of your probation and are facing re-arrest or a prison sentence, contact a Los Angeles probation violation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, by calling (626) 628-9596, and schedule a free legal consultation today.

What Is the Definition of Probation in Los Angeles?

Probation is a penalty imposed by the court after a defendant has been found guilty or entered a guilty plea. Probation is imposed in place of a prison term, which is “suspended” instead of going into effect. Probation allows the convicted defendant to return to their community instead of being incarcerated.

The underlying prison sentence is not replaced by probation but is instead suspended and may be reinstated almost automatically if you violate the terms of your probation. The defendant will be monitored by a probation officer and must abide by the conditions set by the court. If the defendant violates those conditions, their probation officer may re-arrest them and bring them back into court, and the court may make the defendant serve out the remainder of their sentence in prison. The exact terms of your probation will depend on the nature of your charges.

The terms of probation involve more than merely checking in with a probation officer. The court may impose other conditions based on the correctional needs of the defendant. For example, for a defendant convicted of a more violent offense, or an offense that involved a weapon, the court may impose a probation condition that prohibits the defendant from owning or possessing a firearm. If the defendant is caught with a firearm by their probation officer, they will be in trouble with the court.

Probation terms and conditions are not the same for every defendant. For some defendants, the court may forbid them from owning guns or other weapons. For other defendants, such as those convicted of domestic violence offenses, the court may forbid them from going near or contacting their victim. It is important to fully understand each and every term of your probation in order to avoid a violation. Our Los Angeles probation violation attorney can help you understand the terms of your probation and what you have to do to stay out of prison.

Why Did I Receive a Probation Sentence in Los Angeles?

Probation is authorized for many criminal offenses in Los Angeles, including felonies and misdemeanors. However, certain felonies are not eligible for probation. These are usually felonies that are especially violent or involve the use of a deadly weapon.

In California, the court is authorized to impose a probation term any time it is available as a sentencing option under California law. Courts tend to place defendants on probation when they feel their sentences will be better served at home in their communities. Think of probation as a second chance: you will still have a criminal conviction on your record, but the court is allowing you to prove you will not re-offend so that you can avoid going to prison.

A court will also impose certain probation conditions for the benefit and rehabilitation of the defendant. It is common for defendants to participate in drug or alcohol abuse treatment or educational programs as part of their probation. If they fail to show up for treatment or classes, that may violate their probation.

If you have been sentenced to a term of probation, it means that the statute or statutes you were charged under allowed the court to consider probation as a sentence. However, the exact terms of your probation are determined based on your charges and the facts surrounding your case. Our Los Angeles probation violation attorney can help you understand the terms and conditions of your probation.

What is Considered a Probation Violation in Los Angeles?

A probation sentence may include many different types of conditions you must follow to stay out of prison. Your conditions will depend on your charges, your criminal history, and the details of your case.

Generally, defendants cannot commit another offense while they are on probation. Being arrested for a new crime is a probation violation and may result in the revocation of your probation.

As part of your probation, you will be required to check in with your probation officer often. You will be required to report to your probation officer, usually in person, at regular intervals. You must also notify your probation officer of any life changes, like moving or losing your job. Your probation officer may make unannounced visits to your home or work to check up on you and search the premises for contraband. If they observe any behavior that violates your probation, they may re-arrest you. If you fail to report to your probation officer, you may also be in violation and be arrested.

Other conditions can include drug and alcohol treatment, educational courses, and community service, depending on what is appropriate for your situation. The court may also require that you maintain a job or stay in school to remain on probation.

If any of the conditions of your probation are violated in Los Angeles, you can suffer extreme consequences as the violator. It is important to contact our skilled Los Angeles probation violation attorney if you are accused of violating these terms.

Examples of How Probation Can Be Violated in Los Angeles

Some probation terms are common for many defendants, while other terms are unique to individual cases. The way in which you could violate probation will depend on the nature of your probation terms. Often, defendants violate their probation by failing to do something required of them. Courts frequently require defendants sentenced to probation to actively participate in or complete certain activities or programs. For example, a defendant convicted of drunk driving might be sentenced to probation, the terms of which require them to attend alcohol education classes. If the defendant fails to show up to the required courses, they are in violation of their probation.

Some more common examples required of most defendants are frequent check-ins with their probation officer, paying fines, completing community service, maintaining employment, and attending drug and alcohol classes. If a defendant fails to comply, they can be arrested for violating their probation.

Other times, defendants may be in violation of their probation for actively doing something that is forbidden. For example, if possessing a gun, drinking, or doing drugs is forbidden under the terms of your probation, you could be arrested if your probation officer finds out you did any of those things. Defendants on probation are also required to stay out of trouble. If a defendant is arrested for a new offense, they will be in violation of their probation. This means they can be sentenced on the underlying charges of their probation in addition to any new charges. If you are unsure whether you have violated the terms of your probation, contact our Los Angeles probation violation attorney for help.

Consequences for Violating Probation in Los Angeles

Once probation is imposed, the defendant must abide by the terms and conditions set by the court. A violation of any of these terms or conditions may result in being re-arrested and your probation might be revoked. When probation is revoked, the prison term that was previously suspended will be enforced and the defendant will go to prison. Our Los Angeles probation violation attorney can help you if you are in violation of your probation.

Your probation officer will be the first to know if you have violated the terms of your probation. They will decide whether your violation warrants being arrested. Sometimes violations occur by accident. Other times the violation may have been intentional, but only minor. For example, the terms of your probation might include that you must have a job. Being unemployed would be a violation of your probation. If you are having trouble looking for a job because very few people are hiring, your probation officer might be understanding and choose not to arrest you. However, if your probation terms prohibit you from owning a gun and your probation officer catches you with a gun, he is more likely to arrest you.

Can I Go to Prison if I Violate Probation in Los Angeles?

The good news is that probation often allows you to avoid being incarcerated. You will remain out of jail and may continue living at home with your family as long as you follow the rules of your probation as imposed by the court.

However, a possible prison sentence is not totally off the table. If you violate the conditions of your probation, the probation officer that monitors your behavior and whereabouts will re-arrest you and take you back to court. You may be arrested without a warrant and you may be held without bail. The judge may then revoke your probation and send you to prison, where you will serve the remainder of your sentence.

If you successfully follow all your probation conditions for the duration of your probation sentence, check in with your probation officer as required, and avoid getting arrested for other crimes, you will not have to serve any time in prison.

If your probation officer catches you in violation of your probation, the officer has some discretion as to whether you should be re-arrested and brought back to court. Sometimes violations happen by accident. Other times, violations may be relatively minor and your probation officer might be inclined to give you a second chance. For this reason, it is crucial to establish a good relationship with your probation officer. Talk to our Los Angeles probation violation lawyer about how to handle your probation violation.

Collateral Consequences of a Probation Violation in Los Angeles

If you violate the terms of your probation, you are already facing a whole host of legal consequences. The trouble does not stop there, unfortunately. While many people have short criminal histories, other people, for a variety of reasons, have long histories of clashes with the law. If you are such a person, a probation violation now could cause you trouble in the future.

Prosecutors may be less inclined to extend an offer for a plea agreement to someone who has a history of probation violations. Prosecutors may perceive you to be someone who will not comply with the orders of the court and will ultimately reoffend. Similarly, a judge is less likely to place you on probation for a different crime if they know you have violated your probation in the past. The courts are not in the habit of giving defendants multiple second chances.

A probation violation now makes you a less sympathetic defendant in the future. The courts are less likely to permit you to enter a diversion program in the future if you violate the terms of your probation now. If you are eligible for a diversion program, the court can look at your record and see you have violated court terms and conditions before. They might not trust you to complete your diversion program and instead sentence you to prison or jail time. A probation violation now can cost you unique opportunities in the future.

Our Los Angeles probation violation attorney can help you work through your current violation and smooth things over with the court so this incident does not rear its ugly head in the future.

Contact a Los Angeles Probation Violation Attorney If You Were Accused of Violating Your Terms

Probation should not be taken lightly just because you avoided prison time. The conditions of your probation may be challenging to comply with and may require significant lifestyle changes, and a probation violation could land you back in prison. If you or someone you know has done something to violate the terms of their probation, call our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately. A skilled lawyer will help you explain your situation to a judge and hopefully avoid being sent to prison. Contact experienced Los Angeles probation violation lawyer Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, by calling (626) 628-9596. Call to schedule a free legal consultation today.

Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law

Call For A Free Consultation
(626) 628-9596