If you have been sentenced to probation for a crime, you may understand that being on your best behavior is the most successful way to someday return to a normal life in society. Probation will add some restrictions to your lifestyle, this is true, but is a way for you to turn things around for yourself and your future. What happens if you violate your probation, though? Will you automatically be sent to jail? Will you be able to qualify for expungement someday if you want to have your record dismissed? What happens when there is a violation?
The Initial Probation Violation
If you break the terms and conditions of your probation, you have violated your probation and could face consequences. The courts will take a few things into consideration such as the nature and seriousness of the violation, whether or not you had any prior violations, and whether or not there are circumstances that worsen the situation. As a result of this violation, you may be imposed with heavy fines, extended probation, jail time, and more penalties. There are many ways in which you may violate probation include failing to appear to a scheduled court appearance, not reporting to your officer, not paying fines or restitutions, visiting certain people or places, possessing or selling illegal drugs, committing other crimes, or getting arrested for another offense. Most of the time, if you have been convicted of a violation, you will receive a light penalty, but this is not always the case. What the judge chooses to do is strictly at their discretion and they can induce any penalty upon you that they see fit. Some of the lighter penalties may include community service, rehabilitation, or another program aimed at correcting your behavior. Some of the more serious penalties, however, include having to pay larger fines or serving a certain amount of time in jail. The judge may even choose to revoke your probation and make you serve out your sentence in prison.
Expungement Conditions in California
Of course, you may already know that you are entitled to expungement in California if you completed your probation without a violation. However, you may not know what happens if you have failed to successfully complete it. Say that you were on probation for a drug-related crime and you were caught by police dealing drugs in the neighborhood. If you have received a violation, you may still not be out of luck completely. The law in California says that you are entitled to a special hearing to determine if you will be a good candidate for expungement. The judge will take many factors into consideration when deciding on whether or not to expunge your record. Here are some of those factors:
- Performance while on probation
- The seriousness of the conviction
- Your previous criminal history
- Any additional evidence demonstrating why expungement is right for you, like an opportunity to obtain a good job, supporting your family, or having strong community ties
If you have been sentenced to probation and have now received a violation, you may still have hope. Record expungement can be complicated but, with a little help, you may be able to have your criminal record dismissed and get on with your life. Call The Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information on how this is done.