Congdon Law. PLLC.

What Are The Common Ways In Which People Violate Their Probation?


One of the most common probation violations that I see is people failing to keep in contact with their probation officer. Most of the time, this is the basis for a probation violation and can include not returning phone calls, not showing to meetings, changing your address or phone number and not telling your probation agent. It’s very simple to get a violation for not maintaining contact.

How Often Do Clients Knowingly Violate Their Probation Terms In Minnesota?

If someone is going to have new charges filed, it’s usually because there are other issues that are taking place in their life and not solely due to probation violations. It’s either drug addiction or mental health issues that haven’t been addressed or addressed appropriately that are leading them to commit or at least be accused of committing new offenses while on probation. It’s fairly common for drug cases in particular. For example, if someone is in need of treatment but hasn’t gotten the treatment that they need, this is often a violation of their probation because they’re not allowed to use any illegal or controlled substances and that’s an easy violation for a probation officer to prove if they’re requiring office meetings with urinalysis or” UA”s, then it’s easy for them to prove that type of violation against the defendant.

What Is The Burden Of Proof Required To Get Someone’s Probation Revoked?

The burden of proof to revoke probation is on the state to prove by clear and convincing evidence that someone is in violation of their probation even if they have to have a jury trial on the issue of guilt. Clear and convincing means that it is more likely than not that the person was in violation. They must prove the specific term of probation that was violated, and that the violation was intentional or inexcusable. In addition, the prosecutor must prove that confinement or some other sort of punishment outweighs the benefit of the person just remaining on probation as they had been.

If I Am Arrested In Another State While On Probation, Will My Home State Find Out?

Your assigned probation officer may or may not find out if you are arrested in another state while on probation and it can get tricky. The first thing to consider is whether there was travel restriction. For many felony cases, the default in Minnesota is that if you’re going to travel out of state, you need to have permission to do so. Most states have some sort of interstate agreement where they can see what’s happening in other states particularly if you’re already on probation. Therefore, it is possible that your probation officer could find out that way if you were arrested in another state. When I have clients in these situations, I look at their probationary conditions to see what exactly was imposed upon them. We do a bit of an analysis to decide how likely it is their probation officer is going to find out. If the person didn’t miss any meetings with his or her probation officer, didn’t miss any drug tests and the case in the other state is fairly minor, then it might be a risk worth taking that the probation officer may not find out.

However, if the individual is going to spend a lot of time in court or potentially jail time in another state, that’s something that we probably want to let the probation officer know about ahead of time so it doesn’t cause extra problems in Minnesota.

What Can Someone Expect When They Have Been Charged With A Probation Violation?

There are two ways that a person learns about a charge for a probation violation. One way is after a probation officer sends a summons to your residence, which means that they’re giving you a court date where you will need to appear in court out-of-custody, or they’ve issued it as a warrant. If they’ve issued it as a warrant, then it’s possible you could be arrested at any time by law enforcement.

Once someone receives a probation violation by summons, it’s important to show up to court so that you find out what the violation actually is and see if you can start trying to fix those issues before you go to court. For example, if you have a DWI or a drug case, oftentimes the violation is failure to complete treatment or failure to complete a chemical health evaluation. In that case, completing those evaluations and potentially being enrolled in treatment before the probation violation hearing will count for a lot when it comes punishment. If you are arrested on a probation violation and are in custody, there’s not lot that can be done other than trying to contact your probation officer, an attorney, or someone who can figure out what you’ve completed and hopefully get proof of that before a hearing.

For more information on Common Ways Of Violating Probation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 684-9740 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

Call For A Free Consultation (800) 684-9740