When you are convicted of a crime by being found guilty or pleading guilty, one alternative often given to offenders is probation. While this is usually a much better option than being sentenced to jail, it’s not an easy way out by any means.
Probation comes with a strict set of rules that must be adhered to. Failing to do so is referred to as a probation violation and could result in being sent to jail if you’re found in violation of the condition of your probation.
Here’s what you need to know about probation violations in North Carolina and what you can do to get probation violations dismissed to keep you out of jail.
Probation in North Carolina
When you are found guilty or plead guilty to a crime in North Carolina, a judge imposes a sentence. They can then suspend the sentence and place you on probation instead.
Once on probation, a specific set of conditions are set for you to meet over a specified amount of time. Having a competent lawyer representing you in court can help you to get the best deal possible for your probation.
There are two types of probation in North Carolina: supervised and unsupervised. Learn more about each below.
This is when a probation officer is assigned to the case to monitor you on a regular basis and ensure that all conditions of probation set by the judge are met.
When placed on supervised probation, you must seek permission by the court if you want to travel out of state and also submit to searches without a warrant for contraband or drugs.
You may also need to pay fees associated with probation and the court, perform community service, and submit to drug tests.
When you are given unsupervised probation then you do not get a probation officer. Instead, you are simply expected to pay all the restitution and/or court fees required and not violate any other laws during the term of your probation.
Common NC Probation Violations
There are several ways in which a person can violate the conditions of their probation. It’s important to understand in each particular case what constitutes a violation, something an experienced attorney can help you to understand.
The most common probation violations include:
- Missing court hearings
- Missing appointments with a probation officer
- Failing to pay any court order restitution or fines
- Failing to complete court-ordered community service
- Failing to stay employed during the duration of your probation
- Visiting people or places a judge has ordered you to avoid as a condition of probation
- Committing another crime while on probation
What Happens If You Violation Probation?
If you are arrested for violating probation, you need to let your attorney know as soon as possible so they can represent you in court. You will go before a judge to determine if you violated probation or not.
A lawyer may be able to help prove you did not, in fact, violate your probation, but if you are found in violation, then consequences could be imposed.
A judge can decide to do a variety of things to you if they determine you violate probation, such as:
- Tacking additional requirements onto your existing probation
- Extend your probation for up to five years
- Make you serve your jail sentence in lieu of probation, called a “revocation of probation”
- Terminate your probation without any further conditions
This is one time you want to ensure you have an attorney on your side. Hopefully, they can plead your case and keep you out of jail, getting your North Carolina probation violation charges dismissed.