What Happens if You Violate Probation in California? | Crowell Law Offices

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What Happens if You Violate Probation in California?

If you or a loved one is on probation, you need to know the rules surrounding probation. If you have violated probation, you also need to be aware of the punishments that might be enforced and what you can expect from a judge. 

Punishments for violations in California can be strict. Some judges and courts are stricter than others. In most cases, they will make their decision based on your criminal history and what the probation violation was. For help getting charges potentially lessened, talk to a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer for a case review.

Imposing Original Sentence 

If the judge in your hearing ruled for your original sentence to be overturned and gave you probation instead, a violation could involve them imposing your original sentence. So, if your original sentence was 16 months in jail and the judge ordered probation instead, you might now be looking at a 16-month jail term.

They will usually give you your original sentencing term and not more, even if the crime punishments had a range of 16 months for 2 years, for example. 

Imposing Maximum Sentence 

In this situation, the judge will give the maximum sentence. So, if you committed a crime with a possible sentence of 1-3 years, you could get a jail sentence of 3 years in the case of a probation violation. 

Keep in mind that the judge can give you 3 years even if your original sentencing was less. Judges may choose to do this if they felt like your violation was serious or if you have violated probation previously. 

Extension of Probation 

In some situations, the judge will extend your probation term. They revoke the current one and put in a completely new one with longer times.

Other Punishments

The most common punishments for probation violations are the ones above. However, there are other ones that a judge can choose, based on their discretion, including:

  • Counseling — The judge may order counseling services, including anger management or substance abuse programs. 
  • Added Probation Terms — The judge may add new terms to your probation that might be stricter and more limiting. 
  • Community Service — The judge may order you to do community service hours for local charity or community organizations. 
  • Substance Abuse Programs — If your probation violation included drugs or alcohol, the judge might order you to enter a special substance program where you stay and are treated. This is usually more serious than counseling. 

A Lawyer Can Help 

Now that you know what happens when you violate probation in California, you can take your next steps. If you have violated probation or are facing a new charge while on probation, consider partnering with a lawyer. They can help you discuss your options and try to minimize your sentencing and probation terms. Having a lawyer can also make you feel more confident in court. 

Probation Violations? Get Ahold of a Lawyer in California 

If you violated probation and are facing a new hearing, you might want to consider partnering with a lawyer to help you. 

Find out what option may be best for you by talking with a probation lawyer at Crowell Law Offices. Call 916-303-2800 to reach our firm, or fill out the contact form below.