In Part One of this blog, we discussed that there are two types of Probations; informal and formal. Further we started with a break down of the different types of ways probation can be violated. As stated in Part One, and reiterated here, a probation violation is its own separate charge. It is not a warning or an enhancement to another charge. It carries with it, its own case number, as well as its own sentencing. Having clarified that, let’s continue to explore the different ways probation can be violated.
- Failure to complete community service
Very much like the failure to complete classes, community service is a part of sentencing that must be completed in a timely manner. The court may give a date for the person sentenced to appear before the Court and confirm that they have completed their service, or the program they have used will submit a completion form to the Court for their records. If the person is required to appear, and fail to do so, a bench warrant may be issued against them for their arrest.
Ex. Dina has been charged with petty theft. The court offered her the option of paying restitution and a fine, or completing community service. Not having any money, Dina opted to complete 60 hours of community service. The court gave Dina a year to complete her service. After a year, Dina had only completed 45 hours, and did not finish her requirement. The program she was working with never submitted a proof of completion, as her service was not done. The court issued a probation violation against Dina.
- Failure to pay Fines
A majority of criminal offenses will include a fine in their sentencing. This fine is often tripled due to costs of penalties and assessments. However, the Court will give a date as to when the fine must be paid. If it is not paid this will constitute as a probation violation.
Ex. David was charged and convicted of a hit and run. As a part of his sentence he was ordered to pay a fine of $1,200.00. David failed to pay the fine by the time ordered by the court and failed to ask for an extension or alternatives. David was charged with a probation violation.
- Driving with any alcohol in the system after a Los Angeles DUI conviction
If you have been charged with a DUI, the probation terms will often include that you cannot drive a vehicle with any alcohol in your system, no matter how minimal. If you are caught doing so, the .08 BAC minimum will not apply to your case, and any alcohol will constitute a DUI.
Ex. Don was charged and convicted of a first offense DUI. He was sentenced to three years informal probation, as a part of it, the Court ordered that he could not drive with any alcohol in his system. A year later, Don had a beer at his friend’s place and drove home. He was stopped and submitted to a blood alcohol test. His BAC was .03. Even though this may not constitute a DUI violation in normal circumstances, in Don’s case it will, because he was under strict probationary rules.
If you are facing probation violation charges, do not take them lightly. Seek the help of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible!