Criminal Law

Probation Violations

Probation violations are onerous and probationers can be ordered back to court and be placed under arrest and held in jail for any violation of any condition of probation. Upon coming to court, the judge has the authority to revoke the probation and send the probationer back to jail for the balance of the sentence. The judge can also extend the probation, add new conditions to the probation or terminate the probation. The judge can also order a combination of these conditions.

Consult An Attorney

A defendant charged with probation violation should seek counsel immediately. Counsel can then commence discussions with the probation officer and/or the prosecutor to negotiate recommendations and means by which to mitigate the violations.

Facing Return to Jail? You Need A Probation Violation Lawyer

At sentencing, it’s common for a defendant to hear that he or she will be subject to probation. Probation may follow time spent in prison or it can be ordered instead of going to prison, depending upon the charges for which the defendant was convicted. Generally, people are relieved to learn that they’ll be on probation, especially if this means that they will only have to spend a short time confined or avoid it completely. Probation is intended to help to rehabilitate someone after they have received an appropriate punishment for their crime. The court imposes certain conditions that must be adhered to while on probation, hoping that complying with these conditions will assist someone in becoming a productive member of society and staying out of trouble. Unfortunately, every probation violation attorney in Brunswick and New Hanover, NC has had numerous clients who were accused of violating the terms of their probation.


You will have a probation officer assigned to the case. A risk assessment is performed to help define the probation goals and conditions. When someone remains compliant with the terms and conditions established for their probation they can continue to enjoy their freedom. But they have to comply with conditions.

These conditions could include:

  • Periodically reporting to a probation officer
  • Finding a job
  • Drug and/or alcohol testing
  • Avoiding contact with certain people
  • Attending a drug/alcohol treatment program

Changes to the Probation Laws in North Carolina

In 2011, North Carolina took a look at the costs of keeping people in prison an while investigating possible solutions, officials unearthed a startling fact. More than half of the people admitted to prison were sent there because their probation had been revoked. Much of the time, these offenders hadn’t committed another new, serious crime. Instead, they had been sent to occupy an expensive prison bed because of technical violations: missing appointments with their probation officer, failing drug tests or failing to attend a required drug treatment program. State officials realized that this wasn’t doing any good for either the North Carolina taxpayers or the offenders.

A law was passed that mandated a new direction for North Carolina’s probation system.

  • Some probation violators are sentenced to “quick dips” or brief two or three-day jail terms rather than revoking probation entirely. This was intended to serve as a wake-up call that further probation violations would result in a return to prison.
  • This resulted in a decline in the number of revoked probations.
  • Sentencing other probation violators who had committed more serious crimes to 90-day jail stays without formally revoking their probation.
  • Increasing supervision on those offenders judged most likely to get into trouble.
  • Decreasing supervision on those considered least in need of it.
  • Ensuring that all of those re-entering society after serving time in prison received some services and oversight.

What if I Violated my Probation?

Violating probation triggers a court hearing to determine what consequences the probationer will now face. The probationer should immediately contact a probation violation lawyer.

Some of the possible outcomes of a probation violation include:

  • Extending the original period of probation so that the probationer will be supervised for a longer period
  • Modifying the original probation agreement – this can be very important if it was impossible for the probationer to comply with one of the original terms, such as repaying court costs, because of a lost job
  • Reinstating probation under the original terms
  • Terminating probation
  • Revoking probation, which sends the probationer to prison

Delegated Authority Could Send You Back to Jail

There’s a belief that “delegated authority” implies a one-way ticket back to jail. Probation officers have the powers of delegated authority, permitting them to impose some requirements upon probationers without going back to court. A probation officer could send a probationer to jail for up to three days at a time. The probation officer can also send a probationer back to court for a 90 day CRV (Confinement in Response to Violation). Every probation violation attorney in Wilmington, NC and surrounding areas has seen this happen numerous times.


There are many ways in which someone could violate probation. Some conditions are almost automatically included, while others would be unique to the case.

Probation violations could include:

  • Committing another crime
  • Absconding, or leaving the area
  • Failing to pay child support
  • Missing scheduled meetings with a probation officer
  • Failing a drug or alcohol test
  • Being with people that were forbidden by the terms of the probation agreement
  • Visiting prohibited places

Violating probation should never be taken lightly. Even though North Carolina changed some of the probation laws, that does not mean that judges will go easy on a violator.

Probation laws are very complicated and technical. Even if it seems like do not have a defense, a meticulous probation violation attorney can go through each of the details to ensure that the probation officer and/or district attorney has taken the proper steps. If they have not, the violation could be thrown out completely. A New Hanover, Brunswick probation violation attorney understands these laws and is committed to protecting the legal rights of their client. I consult with clients in jail. I believe in hearing the whole story.

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Phone: (910) 742-0787
Fax: (910) 343-4227


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