In many countries, probation is an alternative to prison time or fines in certain court cases. This usually is a period of time where the convicted person can prove that he or she can be a functional part of society and not a risk to public safety. Whenever probation is given, there are a series of rules that the convicted person must follow, and if those conditions are broken, it is considered a probation violation. Violation of probation can include actions such as failing to appear in court, failure to pay a fine, failing to meet other requirements or committing another crime. Many times, there is a more severe punishment for breaking probation conditions than for the original crime.
Failure to appear or comply is one of the most common types of probation violation. The probationer normally is required to appear in court to prove that he or she is complying with laws and progressing. Failing to do this is a violation of probation, and he or she is subject to appropriate punishment. Similarly, he or she typically is required to meet regularly with a probation officer to show progress and to discuss issues. Failure to do so also is a probation violation.
Failure to pay or comply is another common type of probation violation. The probationer frequently is asked to pay fines, and failure to do so will land him or her back in court. A similar situation arises when the probationer does not attend mandatory rehabilitation sessions or classes.
Sometimes, especially in custody cases or child support situations, the probationer is required to hold a job in order to comply with probation. This usually is asked in order to provide a means of support for the child or children. When the probationer fails to show employment either to the court or probation officer after a specified amount of time, this is a probation violation and can result in prison time.
One of the toughest probationary terms to deal with is following the rules of probation. Frequently, when a probation is assigned in lieu of prison time, the judge will add circumstances to the probation period, such as not possessing alcohol and firearms or not breaking the law. In addition, some cases have rules that ask the probationer not to visit certain places or people. Like any other probation violation, failing to comply with any of these rules likely will result in the probationer being back in court and receiving a stiffer punishment.