There is a myth that people who are sentenced to probation are getting the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is a scary and remarkable statistic. Nearly 67 percent of new inmates in Utah’s prisons were sentenced due to probation or parole violations. Why is this scary? It only takes one small mistake to land a person behind bars for a significant amount of time. For example, just one traffic violation can result in a probation violation. It doesn’t seem fair to go to jail for a minor violation. But it can happen.
Types of Probation Violations
When a person has been sentenced to probation, there is very little margin for error. A probation officer will be assigned to monitor the progress of each person. Those on probation must be very careful on how they conduct themselves. Simply missing a community service requirement or failure to pay a fine can easily land a person behind bars. It is important to understand there are different types probation including substantive and technical probation violations.
Substantive Probation Violations
People who have been sentenced to probation must walk a straight and narrow path. But when a person on probation has been charged with a new crime, is commonly know as a substantive probation violation. They typically include the following types of criminal charges:
- Traffic tickets
- Possession of marijuana
- Driving with a suspended license
- Petty theft
Although these are considered minor offenses, substantive probation violations can also include more serious crimes, such as felonies. Regardless of the severity of the crime, the violator will face charges from the state and will have to go through an entirely new criminal court process.
Technical Probation Violations
People who are sentenced to probation are required to comply with certain conditions handed down by the court. However, when the person on probation fails to fulfill their requirements, it is considered technical probation violations. These violations include the following:
- Failure to pay fines or court costs
- Failure to complete required programs or complete classes
- Failure to complete community service hours
Depending on the severity of the violation, those who commit substantive and technical probation violations face the harsh reality of being sentenced to prison.
A Salt Lake City Probation & Parole Violations Attorney Can Help
Most people on probation are law-abiding citizens who fulfill the conditions and requirements. But even responsible people may be wrongly accused of a probation violation in Utah. Unfortunately, many of these people do not properly understand their rights. The first step is to seek representation from an experienced and knowledgeable probation and parole violations attorney. The Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at the law offices of White & Matern, PLLC understand the unique challenges and obstacles facing those on probation. They utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach with the objective of placing each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more, schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.