When you’re convicted of a crime, Virginia law allows a judge to suspend or modify the sentence and include probation as punishment for the offense. This is an attractive option for many offenders, because it keeps you out of jail and may reduce other penalties as long as you comply with the terms designated by the court. However, if you violate the terms of your probation in Virginia, you could be facing even more severe penalties as compared to the underlying crime. Here’s what you need to know the situation applies to you.
Overview of Probation in Virginia
When a court approves probation after conviction of a crime, there will be certain conditions listed in the order. You’re also put under supervision of a probation officer who will enforce the order of the court. Some of the conditions that you can expect include:
- Regular reporting to your probation officer;
- Not possessing a gun;
- Appearing at court-ordered hearings;
- Avoiding the use of controlled substances;
- Steering clear of any criminal activity;
- Not leaving the state;
- Paying restitution to a victim of your crime;
- Keeping steady employment; and,
- Other conditions that may be suitable in your case.
So long as you stay within the guidelines of the court’s order, your probation term will expire on the date indicated by the court.
Violations of Probation Terms
If you don’t comply with the conditions of your probation order, such as by failing to appear in court or committing another crime, you face considerable penalties. A judge may decide to:
- Extend the probation period under the same conditions for a longer period of time;
- Modify or add conditions to your probation order;
- Sentence you to incarceration; or,
- Revoke your probation entirely, which means you’ll have to serve the original sentence for the underlying crime.
Consult with a Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
Even if you did violate the terms of your probation, there may be strategies to alleviate the impact of the offense. The key is retaining a skilled criminal defense attorney that has experience in probation violation cases. A lawyer that knows the law and criminal procedural rules can tell you more about your options and assist you in obtaining a favorable outcome. For more information on parole and probation in Virginia, please call the attorneys at Shannon & Associates, P.C. at (757) 228-5529. You can also contact us online with questions about your circumstances.