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What happens if you violate probation?

Receiving probation can be a huge relief for many people. It allows them to avoid jail time and remain with their loved ones. 

However, that relief can also come with a considerable amount of stress. The criminal charges might still weigh on an individual's shoulders, and they must take great care to ensure they adhere to the strict regulations of their probation. If they do not, they could risk having their probation revoked.

So, what happens if someone violates their probation?

First, what conditions does probation involve?

Individuals who receive probation must meet specific conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Meeting with their probation officer at designated times;
  • Staying in Kentucky, unless they have permission to leave;
  • Following all laws, without even minor violations; and
  • Submitting to drug tests whenever they are asked.

Violating any of these rules could have several consequences, from participating in community service, to paying significant fines or even having their probation revoked.

What happens then?

In cases of minor violations, individuals might just receive a warning from their probation officer. However, many people might have to attend a probation violation hearing. 

The process of this hearing usually involves:

  1. Receiving a warning and notice: If individuals violate their probation, they should receive a warning and notice from their probation officer that they must appear in court to address the violation. This notice should also describe the violation and claims against the individual.
  2. Attending the hearing: During the hearing, the prosecutor will try to prove that the individual violated their probation. The judge will consider the seriousness of the violation, as well as the individual's past record. It is important to remember that individuals have the right to legal representation in this hearing, as they do in any other hearing.
  3. Providing evidence to prove their case: Individuals will have the chance to challenge the charges against them during the hearing. They can call witnesses and provide evidence that they did not violate their probation or testify about their good behavior while on probation.

Individuals on probation should understand the process of a revocation hearing so that they can protect their rights. However, it is critical to note that a revocation hearing does not necessarily mean they will face jail time. It is possible to renegotiate the terms of probation and even dismiss the charges of a probation violation, so individuals can move forward with their lives.

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