The conditions of your probation, also called terms, are crucial to follow — failure to do so could result in another criminal charge or potentially even the issuance of your full sentence. Here’s what’s important to know about probation terms and conditions and what to do if you think you may have violated the them.

Meet with Your Probation Officer on a Regular Basis

Meeting with your probation officer on a regular schedule is crucial; if you don’t, you could be charged with an automatic violation. If you have a legitimate reason, such as an illness or emergency, make sure to follow the appropriate protocol for rescheduling the meeting.

Make Your Court Appearances

With the exception of legitimately extenuating circumstances, you won’t be allowed to miss a scheduled court appearance.

Avoid People or Places as Ordered by a Judge

Depending on the facts of your case, the judge presiding over it may order you to avoid particular places or people if they suspect that being around them could increase the chances of recidivism.

Take Random Drug Tests

Whether or not the crime you were arrested for involved drugs or alcohol, you will likely be required to submit to random drug tests as requested by your probation officer. If you fail the test or refuse to take it, this may be considered an automatic violation.

Request Travel Permission

You will not be allowed to travel freely while on probation. You’ll need to ask your probation officer or the court if you can travel out of state, and usually only if you have a specific and qualifying reason, such as the death of a family member. The court can decide not to grant your travel request.

Obey Laws

It’s critical that you aren’t charged with another crime while you are on probation — doing so could cause you to incur serious penalties. Your probation may be revoked, which means you may be required to serve your full sentence. This is true even if the new crime is unrelated to the previous one.

Charged with Probation Violation? Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Probation violations carry serious consequences that you simply cannot afford to have on your record. Don’t wait until your probation officer “catches” you or notifies you of a possible violation — reach out to an Okaloosa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Call T. Martin Knopes today for a consultation at (850) 683-0700.