If you were convicted of a crime in Utah, it is possible that you did not receive a jail sentence but were instead placed on probation. While on probation, you should be extra cautious to avoid violating the terms of your probation. Individuals who violate probation run the risk of being sent to jail for their actions. If you or a family member has committed a probation violation, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City probation violation lawyer. With over 16 years of legal experience, Darwin Overson can help you fight your probation violation case.
Common Types of Probation Violation in Utah
Probation is usually utilized as an alternative to imposing a jail or prison sentence. If a judge believes the crime you committed is not worthy of a jail sentence, you may be placed on probation. Probation provides an alternate form of rehabilitation while also holding the defendant accountable for their actions by restricting select freedoms. Individuals on probation in Utah are offered various programs that can aid with education, substance abuse, and criminal behavior.
However, it is important to avoid committing crimes that may have your probation revoked. Utah is strict when it comes to defining a probation violation, and there are many actions that could be considered a violation of the terms of your probation.
Most probation violations are tied to one of the standard conditions of probation, including:
If you are on probation in Utah, you must permit Adult Probation and Parole (AP&P) agents to visit your home, job, and possibly other locations. These agents are responsible for determining whether you are following the conditions of your probation and any attempts to obstruct their role could result in a probation violation. Examples of obstructing AP&P agent visits include avoiding an agent or having a dangerous animal on your property to dissuade visits.
An individual who is on probation must periodically report to Utah’s Department of Corrections (DOC). They must also keep the AP&P officer informed of any changes to their residence and request permission to leave Utah even if they are only leaving briefly. Failing to check-in or get permission to leave the state are some of the most common violations of probation
While on probation, you must adhere to all state, federal, and municipal laws, including court orders. Getting arrested for another crime is another of the most common probation violations.
A person on probation cannot own or possess any weapons. If they reside with a person who owns a weapon, this can be a violation of their probation. Weapon offenses that violate this rule may include possessing firearms, explosives, crossbows, or any other type of weapon that can cause serious or fatal injuries.
Chemical Analysis/Drug Testing
When you are on probation, you cannot illegally use, possess, produce, or distribute a controlled substance. The DOC has the right to administer tests to ensure you are not illegally using drugs. Failing a drug test means you possessed drugs, which violates both probation and drug possession laws.
Standard probation conditions allow AP&P officers to perform searches of your person, home, vehicle, or other property you own at any time without a search warrant. All the officers need is reasonable suspicion you may possess an item that violates your probation. Reasonable suspicion is a very low burden of proof and can be shown easily.
If on probation, you cannot make contact with any individual who was convicted of a felony or who is currently engaged in criminal activity. This condition may be waived under certain circumstances if you have approval from an AP&P officer.
If you are on probation, you must maintain legal, full-time employment. This means you must work at least 32 hours per week and report any changes in employment to the AP&P officer that oversees your case.
If you are not honest when reporting to the AP&P officer or DOC, this is a violation of probation.
This is not an exhaustive list of probation terms that must be followed in Utah, but it does include some of the more common rules that lead to violations.
Penalties for Probation Violation in Utah
Failure to follow these conditions can result in a variety of sanctions. For example, the judge may decide to impose fines or even send you to jail for a violation of probationary terms.
Before you can be deemed to have violated your probation, a prosecutor must prove you are guilty of a violation. However, the standard of proof for a probation violation is less than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard for most crimes. Instead, the standard of proof for a probation violation is a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a significantly lower burden of proof. This means it will be easier for the State of Utah to find you guilty of a probation violation and possibly send you to prison. Therefore, you should have an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer help you fight against this outcome.
Work with Our Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
If you or a family member violated probation terms, you should speak with an experienced criminal attorney today. Darwin Overson is highly familiar with Utah’s probation system and is prepared to help you fight your violation. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (801) 758-2287.