If you violate probation (known as community control in Ohio), you might face a simple warning, or you might be put under arrest.

If law enforcement arrests you, you will appear in a revocation hearing in front of the judge who initially sentenced you. This judge has the option to allow you to continue on probation which could include increased conditions. The judge may also revoke your probation and send you straight to jail or prison. As you can probably imagine, this can be a very nerve-wracking time.

What Are the Possible Outcomes of a Probation Violation Hearing in Ohio?

In its most basic form, probation is an agreement between you and the judge. If you agree to stay out of trouble and follow the conditions of your probation, the judge will suspend your jail sentence and allow you to live at home with your family instead.

If you break this agreement and the judge finds you guilty of a probation violation, you violated the agreement you made during your sentencing. This is grounds enough for the judge to revoke your probation and send you to county jail or state prison. And depending on the circumstances of your probation violation arrest, they may.

In general, there are two possible outcomes to a probation revocation hearing:

  • You continue to serve probation; or
  • You get sent to jail or prison

If the judge allows you to remain on probation, he will likely add additional time or more conditions onto your probation agreement. For example, if you failed a drug test while on probation, the judge may order you to submit to random urine testing and attend a mandatory drug or alcohol counseling course. If the judge sends you to jail/prison, it can be for the maximum allowable sentence.

How Can an Attorney Help Me During an Ohio Probation Revocation Hearing?

While you can legally represent yourself, having a Cincinnati criminal lawyer by your side at your hearing is a good idea. If there is a possibility the judge will revoke your probation and send you to jail, you want to take every action possible to reduce the chances of that happening.

During the hearing, we can represent you to the judge as someone who is making the most of their opportunity to remain out of jail on probation. We need to show you attend work or school regularly, have close relationships within the community, and are doing everything you can to remain a law-abiding citizen. This is obviously much more difficult if you face new criminal charges, but it is still not impossible to keep many people out of jail if their new charges are minor.

And if your probation violation was an accident (e.g., you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you wrote down the wrong date for your meeting with your probation officer, etc.), we will be sure to explain that you did not intentionally violate your probation.

How Do Probation Violations Happen?

There are two primary ways that people violate their probation:

Technical Violations

Technical violations occur when you fail to comply with one of the conditions of your probation. In most cases, it does not require breaking the law to get a technical violation and for this to jeopardize your probation. Something as simple as missing a check-in time with your probation officer, failing to pay a required fine, not completing community service, or drinking could violate the terms of your probation.

Probation agreements are often tailored to the individual and their specific needs, so it is impossible to determine if you violated your probation without fully reviewing the agreement.

Criminal Violations

Most judges treat criminal violations of probation in a much more serious manner than technical violations. This is because judges issue probation instead of jail time in the hope that offenders rehabilitate themselves and avoid future criminal activity.

When you commit another criminal act while on probation (e.g., driving under the influence), even if it is unrelated to your original crime, you have betrayed the agreement you made with the judge. Chances are, the judge will begin to see you as someone who will likely return to the criminal justice system again. This can make them more likely to revoke your probation.

Reach Out to an Ohio Probation Violation Attorney

Criminal defense attorney Steven R. Adams may be able to help you minimize the negative consequences associated with a probation violation. While the judge could revoke your probation and send you to jail immediately, this is rare in most cases.

If you face a scheduled probation violation hearing — or if you believe you may in the coming weeks — contact us for a no obligation case review and consultation. We can help you understand why this is happening to you, and work to mitigate any damage done. Call the Not Guilty Adams team today at 513-929-9333 to get started.

Steven R. Adams
Steven R. Adams is a criminal defense lawyer dedicated to DUI, OVI, and criminal defense in Cincinnati, Ohio.