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What You Need to Know About Probation Violations

At the Law Office of Rob McKinney in Tennessee, we know that if you are on probation and your probation officer believes you violated one or more provisions of your probation, you may be in serious trouble. Depending on the nature of your alleged violation and whether or not you have violated your probation in the past, you could face serious consequences, up to and including revocation of your probation and the requirement to serve the full remaining time of your original prison sentence.

How is Probation Violated in TN?

FindLaw explains that some of the most common ways in which you could violate your probation include the following:

  • Failing to appear in court when ordered to do so
  • Failing to report to your probation officer at all scheduled times and places
  • Failing to pay any court-ordered fines and/or restitution
  • Associating with known felons
  • Possessing a firearm
  • Possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs

In addition, should you be arrested for any new alleged offense, this likewise could violate your probation. So could failing to perform any court-ordered community service or even such an innocuous thing as failing to give your probation officer your new address when you move from your old one.

Probation Violation Hearing in TN

Your probation officer has broad discretion as to the way in which (s)he wants to handle your alleged probation violation. For instance, (s)he can give you a verbal or written warning. More likely, however, (s)he will require you to appear at a probation violation hearing before a judge.

Be aware that at this hearing, the prosecutor does not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a probation violation. Rather, his or her burden of proof is that of a preponderance of the evidence. What this means is that all (s)he must prove is that you more likely than not committed the probation violation.