What Happens When You Violate Probation in New Jersey
You received probation for two years on a recent drug charge. You swear never to do anything illegal again. However, a few months go by and you get arrested for DUI. The arrest means you violated your probation. What’s going to happen next?
First, let’s explain what probation is. In New Jersey, you are sentenced to probation for a period of time (1-5 years) in lieu of prison time. This time can be extended or end early. However, it does come with many conditions. For instance, you may need to see a probation officer on occasion, pay any fines associated with your charges, and maintain employment. One of those conditions is you can’t break the law again.
When there is a probation violation, what will happen is your case worker will file a Violation of Probation (VOP) complaint with the court, explaining what happened. This complaint will require you to attend a court hearing. If you fail to make the hearing, a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued.
During the hearing, you’ll be able to tell you case to the judge who will determine whether there really was a probation violation. If the court believes you did, or if you plead guilty, you will be sentenced. The judge has several options he/she can impose on you:
- Your probation can continue with possibly new conditions (or remove previous conditions)
- Extend the period of probation
- Terminate the probation
- Resentence you for your original charges.
A resentencing could mean you may go to jail, even if a plea bargain was put in place. This is why it’s essential to have a criminal defense attorney by your side to plead on your behalf if you are found in violation of probation.
If you are accused of violating probation or on any other criminal charges, we’re here to help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.