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Violation of Probation

Violation of ProbationA violation of probation occurs when someone on probation materially violates a term of probation in a willful manner. A person accused of violating probation has a right to a hearing before a judge as to whether or not the probationer willfully, materially violated probation. Normally, the probation officer testifies as to the nature of the alleged violations, and the person accused of violating probation can be called as a witness in such a hearing. Evidence rules differ from those of a criminal trial, and the burden of proof is lower at a violation of probation hearing than it is at a trial. Although limited defenses apply to a violation of probation, they do exist. The consequences for violating probation may include substantial jail time.


Bond Hearings

Bond is a sum of money paid in exchange for a person’s release from custody pending the resolution of a criminal case. Bond motions may be filed when

  1. a defendant is in jail and unable to post the amount of bond that is set or
  2. a defendant is in jail with no bond set.

Upon the filing of a bond motion, the court will likely set a bond hearing. At a bond hearing, the court will consider various factors to determine whether to grant a bond motion, including the nature and seriousness of the charges and the likelihood that the defendant will flee prosecution. Just because a Judge set an initial bond, or denied a request for bond, at what is called a First Appearance does not bar the Judge from reconsidering a request for bond at a later time.

Pretrial Release Modifications

Oftentimes, the court releases an accused on bond, but with additional restrictions. For instance, the court may impose restrictions on contact with victims or witnesses, restrictions on place of residence, restrictions on travel, and so forth. It is not uncommon for the court to release those accused of crimes, especially those accused of crimes against civilian victims, to Home Confinement, or electronic monitoring. Pretrial release restrictions may cause undue hardship, and they may not be warranted in many cases. A Motion can be filed to modify the terms of pretrial release.