Probation is a common punishment Tennessee courts impose on convicted criminals as an alternative to prison time. Felony probation can involve terms such as community service, restitution, mandatory therapy and having to check in with a probation officer.
Felony probation lasts an average of three to five years. During this time, if you break any of the rules of your probation, you could face severe penalties. One of the possibilities in Tennessee is going to jail.
Felony probation violations
The Tennessee courts reserve a sentence of felony probation for those convicted of felony crimes. You could violate your probation in a number of ways:
- Refusing to complete community service hours
- Failing to submit to search conditions
- Failing a drug test (in cases of some drug felonies)
- Missing a meeting with your probation officer
- Breaking a law
If you violate your probation, you could face serious penalties for the violation. A defense lawyer could help you state your case before a judge in Nashville and may be able to minimize the repercussions of a mistake.
A judge has the power to revoke your felony probation if you violate its terms. Revocation could mean a new sentence instead of probation, with the potential of facing the maximum prison term for your original crime. First, the judge must give you details of your alleged probation violation when he or she summons you to court. Then, the judge informs you of your right to legal counsel.
A lawyer may be able to present a defense that results in the judge finding insufficient cause to believe you committed a violation. If the violation does proceed to a hearing, an attorney could help you through the legal process. Hiring a lawyer is one of the best ways to protect yourself from severe penalties such as jail or prison time after a possible felony probation violation.