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Probation Violation Attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Probation is a period of time given by the court to an individual after being found guilty of a crime. During this period, the individual is closely monitored and required to comply with a specific set of rules and regulations. If the individual fails to comply with any of the rules set out for them, they may be accused of probation violation. 

If you are accused of not complying with the terms of probation or are thinking of violating probation, contact Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law. Kathleen is a criminal defense attorney who has the experience you need to negotiate with the court and improve your chances of avoiding punishment for a probation violation. Kathleen’s law firm serves clients in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, as well as throughout Queen Anne’s, Calvert, Prince George’s, and Howard counties.  

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Common Ways Probation Is Violated

There are a number of ways probation may be violated. Some of the common ways probation is violated include:  

1. Failure to Pay Fines 

One of the most common ways probation is violated is by failing to pay fines. When an individual is found guilty of a crime, the court may impose a fine as part of their punishment. This fine is usually paid over a set period of time. If the individual fails to make the required payments on time, they may be accused of violating their probation. 

2. Failure to Appear for a Court Date 

Another common way probation is violated is by failing to appear for a court date. When an individual is put on probation, they may be required to attend court hearings at specific intervals. Failure to appear for these hearings can result in the individual being accused of probation violation. 

3. Failure to Report to a Probation Officer 

Individuals on probation are required to report to their assigned probation officer at regular intervals. This is to ensure they are complying with the conditions of their probation. Failure to report to the probation officer as required can result in a revocation of probation and subsequent sentencing.   

4. Traveling Outside the County/State/Country Without Permission 

Individuals on probation are usually restricted in their travel outside of their designated county, state, or country. Any travel outside of the restricted area requires permission from the probation officer. Failure to obtain permission before leaving the restricted area can lead to a probation violation. 

5. Changing Addresses Without Permission 

Individuals on probation are required to inform their probation officers before moving to a new address. Failing to inform the probation officer of a change in residence can result in a probation violation. 

6. Getting Arrested for an Unrelated Crime 

Any arrest made during probation, regardless of the crime, is often considered a violation of the terms of probation. This is because being arrested again is seen as a failure to comply with the terms set out by the court. 

7. Using Alcohol or Drugs 

Judges may impose restrictions on drug and alcohol use when putting someone on probation. Without approval, the use of drugs or alcohol could lead to a probation violation. 

Types of Violations

There are two different types of probation violations:  

  1. A technical violation occurs when you fail to meet a specific condition of probation, such as missing an appointment with your probation officer one time. 

  1. A substantive violation (also called a new law violation) occurs when you are arrested or charged with a new crime while you are still on probation.  

Both types of violations carry significant legal consequences. If you are accused of a technical or substantive probation violation, your attorney could argue that the violation was not as serious as it seems to avoid the negative consequences or represent you at a probation violation hearing. 

Consequences of Probation Violation 

Violating probation is a serious offense that could lead to severe consequences, including but not limited to: 

1. Warning or Request to Appear in Court  

Probation officers have the discretion to issue a warning for minor infractions, such as missing an appointment or failing a drug test. However, if the violation is more severe or repeated, the probation officer may file a petition to the court, requesting a hearing to determine whether the offender should face further consequences. 

2. Reinstating Probation With or Without Modifications 

If the court finds that the offender violated their probation, they may have the option to continue their probation with additional conditions. For example, they may be required to attend counseling or drug treatment or have a curfew. The court may also modify the terms of probation to better address the offender’s situation and reduce their risk of further violations. 

3. Extending the Length of Probation 

If the court deems it necessary, the length of probation may be extended, giving the offender more time to fulfill the conditions of their sentence. This could also mean additional conditions during the extended period, such as community service or house arrest. 

4. Revoking Probation and Subsequent Sentencing 

The most severe consequence of a probation violation is revoking probation and subsequent sentencing. If the court determines that the offender willfully and substantially violated their probation, they may revoke the probation altogether and impose a new sentence that could include incarceration. This outcome is entirely within the court’s discretion and is reserved for cases where the violation is severe and/or repetitive. 

Probation Violation Attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Violating the terms of your probation may result in the revocation of probation and a subsequent order to complete the original jail/prison sentence. Being accused of a probation violation is a serious legal matter that needs to be addressed by a skilled and knowledgeable attorney. Reach out to Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law to set up a free consultation with a probation violation attorney and discuss your options.