Probation Violations in New Jersey
Probation vs. Parole: What’s the Difference?
Parole is a supervised early release from prison for those who were sentenced to jail or prison time. Probation is an alternative to imprisonment, and defendants sentenced to probation do not serve their time in jail or prison.
Just as each case is unique, the terms of your probation are unique and will differ on a case-to-case basis. You may be required to submit to drug or alcohol testing, participate in counseling, remain employed, adhere to a curfew, or pay victim restitution or fines. It is important to note that the terms of your probation can be modified based on your own request or the request of your probation officer during the course of your probation.
Failing to adhere to and comply with any of the terms of your probation is considered a probation violation. Common probation violations include:
- Failing a drug or alcohol test
- Failing to tell your probation officer about a change of address, employment status or employer, or other required information
- Failing to complete mandated treatment programs
- Failing to pay fines or court fees
- Failing to participate in or complete mandated community service
- Falling behind on restitution payments to victims
- Missing meetings with your probation officer and/or counselor
- Being arrested for a different crime
- Possessing a weapon illegally
What Happens if You Violate Probation in New Jersey?
If you violate probation, your probation officer will file a Violation of Probation (VOP) complaint that includes details of the specific violation. Then, a court hearing will be held to determine the validity of the claim. You must attend the hearing; if you fail to attend, an arrest warrant will be issued for your arrest.
During the hearing, you can fight the charges, explain why you violated probation, and fight to mitigate the consequences. If it is ruled that you violated the terms of your probation, you can face serious consequences, including but not limited to having your probation revoked.
Can You Get Off Probation Early in New Jersey?
Judges have the authority to release offenders from probation early. If you have paid your fines and completed your mandated classes and/or treatment programs, you can apply for early termination of probation. In most cases, it is recommended that you complete at least half of your probation sentence. The following factors will be taken into consideration during an early termination of probation hearing:
- The defendant’s criminal history
- The crime the defendant committed
- The defendant’s age
- The defendant’s behavior while on probation
- The reason early termination is being requested
At Brickfield & Donahue, we can help you fight against probation violation charges. Before entering a guilty plea, consult with our attorneys; we can work tirelessly in your defense to minimize the consequences. Schedule a free case consultation today online or via phone (201) 574-7919.