Probation Revocation: What You Need to Know

Introduction to probation revocation. What is probation? How many people are on it? How do you get on probation? How long can you stay on probation? etc.

First, you need to know how you can get revoked. Violating any of the requirements of a probationer will get you revoked. Some of the most common requirements are; passing random drug tests, failing to make appointments with your probation officer, not completing community service, not competing required treatment programs, and picking up a new charge.

If the state feels you have done something that qualifies as a revocation, they can file a petition for revocation with the court having jurisdiction over your current case. Arkansas law requires that a hearing must be held within 60 days of the filing of the petition to revoke. This hearing will be to determine whether you have violated the terms of your probation.

The standard for determining a probation violation is not the same as required for a conviction of a crime. Preponderance of the evidence is the standard used, this basically means that if more than 50% of the evidence shows that you violated your probation, the judge will find you guilty of the revocation.

It is very important that you have a competent defense attorney with you at this stage of the revocation. Your probation attorney will be able to cross examine the state’s witnesses and put on witnesses that are favorable to you. If the judge finds that you are guilty of the violation, he or she will then decide what will happen to you. Your attorney will be able to make an argument for why you should be reinstated and continue with probation rather than be sent to the pen.

Although a hearing of the allegations of the revocation petition is a reality, if after assessing your case, it is determined that the state will likely prevail in their pursuit of a revocation, a good lawyer may be able to strike a deal with the prosecutor to keep you on probation and out of the pen.

If you or someone you know is facing the possibility of a probation violation or probation revocation, you should contact a good criminal defense attorney.