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Consequences of Violating Felony Probation

Defining a Felony Probation

Felony probation is alternative sentencing from incarceration, where convicted felons earn the privilege of serving their sentence out of custody. The convicted felons are allowed to rejoin society under the supervision of a probation officer. The probation officer is responsible for maintaining a record of the defendant and ensuring they comply with the terms of their probation. Felony probation only applies to persons convicted of felony-level offenses.

How Convicted Criminals Qualify for Probation

A judge is to determine the eligibility of a convicted felon for probation by looking at factors like their criminal history and the severity of the crime they committed. On average, probation periods last up to two years for felons convicted of non-violent crimes. However, theft of items exceeding $25,000 may require probation of up to three years. The defendant may also be required to take counseling while on probation.

Common Violations of Probation

Violations of probation are contingent on the terms and conditions of the probation. Some of the standard requirements for felony probation include the following;

  • Regularly reporting to a probation officer
  • Paying fines
  • Paying court costs
  • Paying restitutions
  • Complying with regular drug testing
  • Completing community service hours
  • Avoiding any offenses during probation

These rules are standard for criminals granted felony probation. They may lose their status and go to prison should they violate these terms.

Consequences of Violating a Felony Probation

Probation violations typically invoke warnings from probation officers. However, a felon may commit serious offenses, like committing a crime while on probation. Such violations may prompt the probation officer to request a court hearing. Prosecutors will then be called upon to prove a breach in the conditions for probations.

If the prosecutor determines a breach of probation conditions, the court will then determine the appropriate consequence for the violation. Most probation violations are taken to the same judge that allowed the felon to leave custody on probation. The judge will consider the severity of the claimed breach, the evidence presented against the claim, whether this was the first probation violation, and any other issues that may favor the defendant.

The judge determines the sentence but considers the recommendations made by the probation officer before sentencing. The judge may impose jail time if the prosecutor and probation officer present overwhelming evidence against the defendant. In some cases, the evidence may not suffice to warrant jail time. Judges typically reinstate or modify the conditions for probation.


The court may require an individual to stay in school or get a job once released on probation. Should the defendant fail to secure either or prove they made an effort, they may be eligible for revocation of their probation. Other minor offenses, like missing meetings with a probation officer or a court hearing, can also negatively affect the probation status of a defendant.

The rules with probation ensure that the defendant does not turn back to a life of crime. Some people on probation may find it challenging to comply with every term, given their status as convicted felons. Still, the violations may not be sufficient to warrant revocation. Therefore, defendants accused of violating their probation terms should promptly consult a lawyer to help them navigate the charges and mitigate the risk of being re-institutionalized. “Failure to seek proper legal counsel can result in the worst outcomes for the defendant,” says Mark Sherman of The Law Offices Of Mark Sherman.

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