If you have been arrested and convicted for a Los Angeles Criminal Offense, chances are as a part of your sentencing the Judge ordered probation. There are two types of probation in a criminal case; informal and formal. If you have been ordered to have formal probation, it means that you must report to a probation officer regularly, and there are certain other restrictions against traveling, and substance use or otherwise. If you have informal probation, you do not have to check in with an officer, but there are certain stipulations, such as not committing another crime during your time on probation, that will be a part of your probation orders.
It is important to understand that a probation violation is its own offense. It is not a warning, or a citation, but can be a misdemeanor offense that must be dealt with like any other criminal offense. Oftentimes, it will come along with another offense such as petty theft or a DUI. Let’s consider a few ways that you can violate informal probation.
- Committing another crime
As a part of all informal probation orders, the Judge will require that you do not commit any further crimes. This is not limited to the crime you have been convicted of. If you commit any additional crimes, you will not only be charged for the additional crime, but will also have a probation violation charge.
Ex: Donny is convicted of a DUI, and as a part of the sentence the Judge ordered three years summary (informal) probation. One year after his sentencing, Donny is arrested and charged with petty theft. He will be charged with not only petty theft, but probation violation because he was still on informal probation.
- Failure to complete education or rehabilitation classes
Oftentimes as a part of some offenses, the person charged will be required to complete education or rehabilitation classes. These include classes such as narcotics anonymous for drug offenses, batterers intervention or anger management for assault or domestic violence cases, and alcoholics anonymous for DUIs. The court will often give a date of completion when the person completing the classes must appear in court and provide the Court with a proof of completion. If they have not done this, or fail to appear, it will be considered a probation violation, and could also result in a bench warrant.
Ex. Danielle is charged with a Los Angeles DUI. As a part of her sentencing, the court orders that she complete three months of alcohol rehabilitation classes and sets a date for Danielle to return to court three months later to present her proof of completion. Danielle is in a car accident and is unable to complete her classes. She does not finish the three months, and does not appear in court to explain why she was unable to complete the classes. She is not only charged with a probation violation, but she has also failed to appear in court, resulting in a bench warrant being issued for her arrest.
There are many ways probation can be violated. It is important to understand that this is its own separate offense and can result in additional sentencing. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to seek the help of a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible!