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What happens if you violate the terms of your probation?

In cases where an individual faces criminal charges, a criminal defense attorney will always do his or her best to obtain a dismissal of charges. In cases where charges are not dismissed, a defense attorney may attempt to get charges reduced or argue for some type of alternative sentencing program.

Often, an individual who is convicted of a crime will be forced to abide by the terms of some type of probation. Depending on an individual's age, offense and criminal record; the length and terms of probation may vary significantly. However, during any probation period, it's important that an individual adhere to the related restrictions and terms.

The terms and conditions of probation typically include both requirements and restrictions. For example, an individual may be required to appear for all scheduled court hearings and to complete a substance abuse education course. Likewise, an individual may be restricted from drinking alcohol and from being arrested for other crimes or offenses.

In cases where an individual violates probation, he or she may be subject to one or more penalties. The severity of these penalties depends on the nature of the original offense and an individual's criminal record. Penalties commonly tied to probation violations include fines, extended probation and imprisonment.

Individuals who have received notice of a probation violation would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney. Many judges aren't sympathetic to probation violators and it's important to have a legal advocate on one's side who can help fight for one's rights to avoid serious penalties.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Probation Violation," May 22, 2015

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