Consequences Of Violating Probation

Posted on: 13 July 2020

If the court sentences you to probation, the sentence will come with strict conditions. For example, the court might bar you from drinking, driving, or leaving your hometown, among other things. A variety of consequences awaits you if you violate these conditions. Below are some of the potential consequences.


Probation officers have considerable leeway in probation enforcement. Therefore, you might get away with a warning. A warning is particularly possible if it's your first violation or if the violation is relatively minor.

Additional Conditions

The probation officer might report you to the court if your violations are serious. If the court finds you guilty of a violation, the judge might impose additional conditions on your probation. One option is to make your current restrictions stricter.

For example, if one of the conditions is regular drug testing, the judge might increase the frequency of the tests or order random tests. If one of the conditions was to avoid weapons, the court might order random home searches.

Probation Extension

Another option is for the court to extend your probation. For example, if your original sentence was one-year probation, the judge might extend it to two years. The original conditions will still apply during the extension.

Alternative Sentencing

The judge can also give you an alternative sentence. For example, the judge might:

  • Sentence you to community service
  • Order you to pay a monetary fine
  • Order you to pay restitution
  • Order you to undergo rehabilitation  

The nature of your violation will determine your alternative sentence. For example, the court might sentence you to rehabilitation if you drink alcohol despite an order not to do so.  

Jail Time

A probation violation can actually send you to jail. The judge might sentence you to weekend jail, where you spend your weekdays free and your weekends in jail. Weekend jail can run for multiple weekends.

Original Sentence

Lastly, the judge can also revoke your probation and impose your original sentence. Don't forget that probation is an alternative sentence, and it typically replaces incarceration. Thus, if your judge revokes your probation, they might send you to prison to serve your original sentence.

The court may hold a probation hearing if your probation officer reports a violation. There is no requirement for legal representation during probation hearings, but you can benefit from having a lawyer. Consider a lawyer if the accusations against you are grave, you face severe penalties, or your original sentence was serious.

To learn more, contact a resource like Shefferman Law.