If you have violated probation in Virginia, do not wait to reach out to our firm today to speak with a skilled Richmond criminal defense attorney today. Our legal team is on your side.
What happens when you violate probation in Virginia?
A probation violation in Virginia occurs when probation decided by the court are broken. This could include failing to report to the probation officer, not paying restitution to the victim on time, or having a positive drug or alcohol test result. Violating probation is deemed a serious crime, and by violating the probation order, both substantially and intentionally, the offender can encounter additional criminal charges.
If it is believed that there has been a probation violation, the probation officer will first file an affidavit to the judge stating how the conditions have been breached. The judge will then file an arrest warrant and the offender will have to go to jail before appearing in front of the court. The court will then decide on the appropriate course of action and set penalties during a probation violation hearing.
What are the consequences of this violation?
The result of the probation violation relies on the nature of the violation, with more extreme breaches resulting in more serious consequences. For any penalties, the violation must also be intentional. Some common instances of violation consequences in Virginia ordered by the court include the following:
- Repealing the probation and ordering for the remainder of the sentence to be served in jail;
- Adding harsher terms to the original probation conditions, such as increasing community service requirements or restraining orders if not initially included;
- Expanding the probation term beyond what was originally imposed; and/or
- Serving a short jail sentence or having to pay a formerly suspended fine.
What happens at a Virginia violation of probation hearing?
To determine the appropriate penalties for the violation of probation, there will be a violation hearing before the courts. During the hearing, the prosecutor will first outline the circumstances they believe have been breached. Then to win their case, they will try to verify that the breaking of the conditions was intentional or a result of carelessness. The defense attorney will then assert the evidence by questioning witnesses and examining the claims in an attempt to lower the penalties. Upon hearing both sides, a judge will decide the appropriate action.
It is essential to mention that all violation hearings involve someone who has already been convicted of a crime, and the defendant is not provided with the same rights as someone who is believed to be innocent. Therefore, no jury is present at the hearing and only the judge will decide on the appropriate actions. Furthermore, convictions of probation violations do not have to be without reasonable doubt. Rather, the defendant may be sentenced with preponderance, indicating a lower standard of evidence is required to prove a case. All defense attorneys should be mindful of this difference in standards when constructing their cases for a violation hearing.
Contact Our Firm
If you live in Virginia and have been charged with a crime, the time to speak with an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney is now. Led by Attorney James A. Bullard Jr., our firm has fought on behalf of clients facing serious legal penalties for decades. We handle various criminal and traffic cases, including reckless driving tickets, DUIs, violent crimes, drug crimes, and so much more. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today so we can begin formulating a comprehensive defense on your behalf.