- What is a Probation Violation?
- A probation violation can occur in a number of different ways.
- Violations can come from positive urinalysis.
- They can come from being out after curfew.
- They can come from committing a new-law violation
- Violations come whenever a special condition or a standard condition of probation are breached.
- Special conditions are those conditions that are specifically laid out and are unique to that term of probation. Whereas, standard conditions are those conditions that are standard with every term of probation.
- An example of a standard term of probation is not to commit a new criminal offense.
- An example of a special term of probation is to complete a drug evaluation and treatment.
- What is the legal standard to a probation violation?
- In order to violate probation, a probationer must willfully and substantially violate the terms of their probation.
- In other words, you can’t accidentally have a probation violation. Also, you can’t violate probation because of an inability to complete an item of probation (despite your best efforts). For example, it’s not a violation of probation to not pay restitution, EVEN WHERE IT IS ORDERED, so long as you don’t have the money to pay it. Consider a guy working full time to support a family and every penny he makes goes to the absolute bare essentials (food, shelter, rent). if that guy didn’t have any money left over to pay restitution costs, then a judge could not find there to be a willful and substantial violation. However, if the same guy had $300 left over every month and he spent it on lottery tickets, then he would have violated because he willfully gambled over paying his restitution.
- The state must only prove a probation violation by a preponderance of the evidence.