PROBATION VIOLATIONS

When someone is given a suspended sentence (no jail or prison term) they are often placed on probation. Probation is a way for the sentencing judge let you demonstrate that you can be rehabilitated in the community instead of in a jail or prison cell.

Your probation may be called “informal” where you don’t regularly meet with a probation officer but are still required to pay fines, fees, attend classes etc., or it can be called “formal” where you have regular meeting with a probation officer and have more strict conditions placed on you. Although a judge may make recommendations to the Department of Corrections about what level of supervision to place you under, ultimately it is the decision of your probation officer and their supervisors what conditions you must follow and how often you must report for meetings.

The probation contract

When you are placed on probation you will be required to sign a probation contract. This contract sets out for you the expectations of the probation officer and the conditions that you must follow while on probation. Common terms of probation are:

  1. No drugs or alcohol while on probation
  2. No new arrests and notify the probation officer if arrested
  3. Full time employment or school or a combination of the two
  4. Curfew
  5. Regular payments of fines and court costs
  6. Attendance at programs for anger management, substance abuse, or life skills
  7. Restrictions on residing with convicted felons or other persons on probation
  8. Restrictions on travel
  9. No gambling
  10. No gang activity
  11. Restrictions on possession of firearms

The list is can be much larger.

Contact a Iowa criminal defense lawyer representing clients in Sioux City, Iowa today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Technical Violations versus New Crimes

If you fail to live by one of the conditions that your probation officer set for you such as a curfew violation, failure to secure employment, or missing meetings it will be referred to as a “technical violation”. This is simply a term used by persons in the criminal justice system and it in now way reflects the seriousness of your situation. Any violation of the rules of probation can be enough for a judge to revoke you and send you to prison. The other main violation that is seen while on probation is arrests for new charges. A new arrest while on probation can have serious implications. The initial reaction for some people is to try to hide the arrest from the probation officer and hope it goes away. Not informing your probation officer of the arrest is usually considered a separate violation and could revoke your probation.

If you have violated the terms of probation, your probation officer will file a report with the court. A hearing will be set in front of a judge and often times you will be arrested and placed in jail to wait for the hearing. An experienced criminal defense attorney can contact your probation officer and the county attorney to discuss your case and attempt to resolve the reported violations. If it can’t be resolved through negotiating with the probation officer and the county attorney your lawyer will still be able to argue your case to the judge at the court hearing.

Gerald B. Feuerhelm has the experience and creativity it takes to help you resolve your probation violation issues in the best possible way. They have dealt with hundreds of probation violation hearings and know what options are available as alternatives to a complete revocation of probation.


If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation, contact an Iowa criminal defense accident attorney, representing clients in Des Moines, Iowa at the Feuerhelm Law Office, P.C. Give us a call at (515) 266-5552.