Probation is a privilege, not a right, and reporting to your probation officer is part of the rules of your probation. If you fail to report to your scheduled appointment, you run the risk of your probation officer charging you with a probation violation. Probation violations require you to appear before the court. The judge will decide your punishment and the punishment can result in serious consequences.
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If you are consistent on following the rules of your probation, your officer may only issue a warning. This warning is written and must be signed by you and the officer. Warnings do not affect the terms of your probation, but may be used in future violation hearings if you continue to violate your probation.
If you receive a probation violation, you must appear before the court for a probation violation hearing. Your probation officer will ask the court to impose an additional punishment. Probation violations only require a "preponderance of evidence" to be proven rather than "beyond a reasonable doubt." This means that the prosecutor or probation officer must only show that it is more likely than not that you violated your probation. Depending on the seriousness of your violation, you may be required to participate in community service, pay additional fines, be placed on house arrest or extend your probation. In more severe cases, the judge may put you in jail for a small amount of time, followed by continuing your probation.
If your probation violations become habitual, you may lose your right to probation. If a judge decides to revoke your probation, you must serve the remainder of your sentence in jail or prison. Most states require offenders with sentences less than one year to serve the remainder of the sentence in jail. Any sentence exceeding one year is to be served in prison.
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