When you are convicted for a violation of the criminal code, a part of your sentence will likely by probation. There are two types of probation; informal and formal. Formal probation requires that you check in with a probation officer and follow specific guidelines and restrictions. Informal probation does not require that you check in with any officer but it does require that you refrain from violating the terms of your probation by committing additional crimes or being arrested on suspicion of criminal offenses.
A probation violation is it’s own separate offense, and may carry with it, its own penalty. When you have been charged with a probation violation, you will be required to appear before the Judge and explain your situation. The Judge will then determine whether he will reinstate the probation or if there will be further penalties to the charge.
For example, David was caught shoplifting a nice shirt and was charged with misdemeanor petty theft. As a term of his sentence, he was put on three years of summary probation, which is informal probation. A year or so later, David was caught again shoplifting some pants. The second time he was not only charged with petty theft, but also a probation violation because it was a violation of the terms of his sentence to get arrested again for another criminal offense.
The Judge will then review the terms of the probation and review the facts of the violation. It is up to the Judge’s discretion to determine whether he will reinstate the probation and deal with the additional charge separately or to reinstate probation.
If you have a probation violation on your record, it could also potentially cause an obstacle for you to successfully receive and expungement in California. It is again up to the Judge’s discretion to consider the facts of the probation violation and your behavior throughout the probationary period to make a determination of whether the expungement may be granted.
It is important to carefully follow the terms of your probation if you have been convicted of a crime. If for whatever reason you have violated the probation and are currently being charged, then it is crucial that you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney so that they can prepare the best possible defense for you so that the probation violation is dismissed. Dismissing the probation violation will keep a criminal conviction off your record, and will make obtaining an expungement a lot easier when it is time for you to go through the process.