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Will you go to prison if you violate probation?

Your probation officer was clear: You have to follow orders or you'll end up back in court. The last thing you want is to go back to jail or to be penalized, so you did your best to follow through on the court orders.

Unfortunately, an emergency in the family called for your attention, and in your rush, you forgot to inform your probation officer about needing to leave town. You were only a few miles out of the state, but since you were restricted to the state, you violated probation.

What happens to you now? Will you end up back in prison?

The truth is that every case is different with probation. The seriousness of your offense combined with other factors determines what happens. In your case, an emergency required your presence. While you violated parole, one could argue that it was out of your control. This could be taken into consideration, and you may be able to avoid harsh penalties.

It's possible to receive a warning or an order to appear in court if you violate probation. Your probation officer has the right to make a decision on whether or not he or she wants to warn you or send you to court. Be upfront with the probation officer when explaining your situation. If you're honest and can provide information that shows why you violated probation, it could help you avoid going back to court.

Your attorney can give you more information about what happens next if you violate probation. With support, you may be able to avoid penalties.

Source: FindLaw, "Probation Violation," accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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