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Probation Violations
Almost all criminal convictions result in some period of probation. If a probationer violates the terms of probation, the prosecutor or probation department may file a Petition to Revoke Probation (“PTR”) and ask the court to issue an arrest warrant. If a person is accused of violating probation, it is crucial to contact an experienced criminal attorney right away. Avoiding jail time often requires immediate action. 

If a Petition to Revoke Probation has been filed, it is important to obtain a copy of the PTR to determine what it alleges. For example, in almost all DUI and drug-related cases, terms of probation require the completion of community service and an alcohol or drug abuse evaluation. Plea Agreements usually provide that if these terms are not completed in a timely manner, the defendant must serve a fixed period in jail. An experienced criminal attorney may be able to negotiate an extension of time.

If the PTR alleges the commission of a new crime, the defendant may face more serious consequences for the probation violation than even the new offense. In a pending criminal case, defendants have the right to a trial by jury and to force the prosecutor to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, in a probation violation hearing, the prosecutor only has to prove that it is more likely than not that a probation violation occurred. In addition, a PTR will be heard by a judge and not a jury.

Probation Violations Require a Proactive Defense

If a person is charged with a new offense while on probation, an experienced criminal attorney may be able to negotiate a plea agreement in the new case that will dismiss the probation violation. A defendant should never appear in court for an initial hearing without an attorney, especially if they are on probation in another case. If a PTR has been filed, there could be an outstanding arrest warrant.

A defendant should never represent himself in accepting a plea agreement, even if the terms appear favorable. By accepting a plea agreement in a new case, a defendant will be required to admit the facts necessary to prove that they violated probation.  If  a person is on probation and a PTR is filed, they should contact an experienced criminal attorney immediately. Aggressive action is often required to avoid jail time or other sanctions on the PTR.


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Gibson Law Office
133 N. 4th St.
Suite 73
Lafayette, IN 47901

Phone: (765) 742-8440

Gibson Law Office
115 N College Ave
Suite 265
Bloomington, IN 47404

Phone: (812) 269-1508

Fort Wayne
Gibson Law Office
701 S. Clinton St.
Suite 300
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Phone: (260) 739-5425
Gibson Law Office
1106 Meridian St
Suite 424
Anderson, IN 46016

Phone: (765) 313-7313
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