Typically, when you are sentenced, and your sentence includes probation, one of the things you are ordered to do is not violate the law. If you are arrested, the arrest itself is not a probation violation. However, what ends up happening, is you will have a new open case and the probation violation trailing behind it, waiting to see what happens on your new case.
If you plead guilty to the new charge or are found guilty after a trial, the judge will then address the probation violation in a probation violation hearing. Typically that is done in front of the sentencing judge who put you on probation on the first case. However, the judge on your new case, if s/he has jurisdiction over the first matter, may address probation with the new case, in what is often called packaging or bundling both together.
The probation violation hearing has a lower standard of proof, meaning a judge only has to find that you violated the terms of probation “by a preponderance of the evidence” not “beyond a reasonable doubt” as required in criminal cases.
At the hearing, both the prosecutor and the probationer will be able to present evidence. If the judge finds that it is more likely than not that the probation terms were violated, the judge will then sentence the defendant on the violation. The maximum sentence allowed by law is the maximum sentence for the underlying offense that was suspended when you agreed to accept probation instead of serving time in jail. The judge may not order you to jail, but instead may add additional penalties such as community service, public work and/or more probation time, among other things. The judge may also choose to do nothing on the PV and just continue the probation under the same terms and conditions that were imposed initially.
You may choose to skip the hearing all together and admit the violation. This is typical in cases where the defendant enters a change of plea on the new case.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime and you are also on probation for another case, you must contact a criminal attorney to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman can help. Call (619) 260-1122 today for your free consultation.