Probation Violations In Virginia
If you are facing charges of probation violations in Virginia, you may feel scared, overwhelmed, and unsure of your next steps. The state of Virginia has a range of penalties for those who are convicted of probation violations. Understanding what those are can help you make the best decision for your future. Consider reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall at 703-934-0101 to ensure your legal rights are protected.
Types of Probation
Probation violations in Virginia come in many forms, contingent upon whether you are on supervised or unsupervised probation.
In the state of Virginia, unsupervised probation is a length of time where you do not report to any probation officer. Unsupervised probation requires that you obey all laws. It is typically part of the rehabilitation assigned for first offenders or minor crimes.
Supervised probation is a length of time where you report to a probation officer regularly. You not only have to obey all laws and city ordinances but you have to adhere to the terms of your supervised probation which will vary from one person to the next. Supervised probation is typically part of the rehabilitation assigned for people after they serve time in jail or prison but it can also be assigned to first-time offenders or for minor crimes.
What Is a Probation Violation?
A probation violation is any violation of the terms of your probation.
Unsupervised Probation Violation
The Code of Virginia states that if you are under unsupervised probation, any behavior that is against the state laws or local ordinances could trigger a probation violation in Virginia. For example: If you get a speeding ticket while under unsupervised probation, it can qualify as a violation.
Supervised Probation Violation
The Virginia Sentencing Guidelines states that supervised probation violations fall under one of two broad categories:
The first is technical violations where you fail to comply with the terms of your release. This can include failure to meet with your parole officer, failure to pay a fine, or missing a court date.
The second is new law violations where you are arrested on new charges while on probation. Whether supervised or unsupervised you are expected to obey all laws and ordinances while on probation so any charge from a speeding ticket to a felony would qualify as a new law violation.
Specifically, there are eleven different probation violations in Virginia for supervised probation each of which are called “conditions”:
This is a failure to obey all federal, state, and local laws. Driving on a suspended license or being drunk in public, even minor traffic convictions qualify as a violation of condition one.
This is a failure to report your arrest within 3 days to your probation officer. If you get arrested again while on probation, it is up to you to report it quickly. How quickly and proactively you report your arrest and try to remedy the violation can count for you or against you.
This is a failure to maintain employment as required or report changes to your employment.
This is a failure to report to your probation officer as required.
This is a failure to allow your probation officer to visit your place of employment or your home.
This is a failure to follow instructions, report when required, and otherwise, be cooperative and honest.
This is the use of alcoholic beverages and if you are prohibited from consuming alcohol as part of your probation, a probation officer can request you submit to a breathalyzer during each visit.
This is the use, distribution, or possession of controlled substances.
This is the use, distribution, or possession of firearms. This particular violation results in a 2-year mandatory sentence for those who have been convicted of nonviolent felonies or a 5-year mandatory sentence for those who have been convicted of at least one felony.
This is a change of residence or moving out of the state of Virginia without permission.
This is absconding from supervision.
What Are the Penalties for Probation Violation?
In the state of Virginia, the terms of each probation assignment are different. The penalties, therefore, are also different. The specific penalties for violating your probation will depend on a handful of factors, which may include the following:
The severity of the infraction: For example, a technical violation might be viewed less harshly by the courts than a new law violation especially if the new law violation is a serious felony.
The speed in which you attempt to remedy the violation: For example: if you are moving or transferred from one place to another and you attempt to reach out to your new probation officer regularly, and you can document those attempts, an alleged violation of failure to communicate with your probation officer might be viewed less harshly by the courts compared to situations where you do not try to reach out at all and you wait until the officers have to reach out to you.
Under Virginia law, any violation of probation can immediately lead to a revocation of that probation. For supervised probation, this means the rehabilitation aspect after time served can be rescinded and you can go back to jail. However, it is up to the judge to decide whether the violation warrants a warning, an opportunity to fix the violation or more severe punishments.
Can an Attorney Negotiate a Probation Violation?
The Virginia Department of Corrections states that probation is up to the discretion of the local judge. This means when a case goes before a judge it is up to that judge to determine when supervised probation is appropriate and for how long. It is also up to the judge, as mentioned, to determine the outcome of a probation violation.
An attorney from the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall can provide information to the judge in an attempt to negotiate the penalties surrounding a probation violation. An experienced defense attorney can argue for a shorter extension of probation or extended probation in lieu of recidivism.
Regardless of the severity, the type of probation you are on or the type of violation you allegedly committed, it is in your best interest to take action immediately to protect your rights. If you make the decision to reach out to an attorney, they can review your situation, answer any questions you might have, explain your options, and look for any opportunities to not only resolve the issue with the lowest possible penalty but try to avoid additional jail time.
Contact an Experienced Probation Violation Attorney
In any situation where you face charges of probation violation in Virginia, consider meeting with an experienced probation violation defense attorney who can provide answers to your questions and teach you more about possible defenses to the charges. Our experienced attorneys can look at your case and prepare you for what comes next. Contact the Law Office of Faraji A. Rosenthall at www.farlawoffice.com or 703-934-0101 for your free consultation today.