Will You Go to Jail for Your First Probation Violation?
If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense in Wyoming, the frequent punishment is probation.
The first time you commit a probation violation will result in consequences.
Whether the State sends you to jail depends on the severity of the violation.
You receive probation when the court puts you under supervision for a period of time instead of sending you to jail.
Probation requires you to meet certain conditions, such as:
- Completing a substance abuse treatment program;
- Undergoing mandatory drug tests;
- Meeting with your probation officer; and
- Not associating with known felons.
Failing to meet any of the conditions of your probation is a probation violation. Committing a crime and not meeting with your probation officer are two common violations of probation.
Working with a criminal defense attorney is your best shot at reducing the chances that you go to jail for your first probation violation.
What’s the Process After Violating Probation?
After violating probation, you must go through a separate judicial process in probation court.
Under Wyoming law, if your probation officer believes you have violated any of the terms of your probation, he or she can take you into custody and detain you for a reasonable time.
You will next receive written notice of the allegations of your probation violation. You and your criminal defense lawyer can use this to prepare for your probation hearing in court.
However, it is important to understand that the State needs to prove only that it is more likely than not that you violated the terms of your probation.
If the judge finds that the State has met its burden of proof, the State will punish you in accordance with the severity of the probation violation.
What Are the Consequences for Violating Probation in Wyoming?
The judge has the discretion to select from a number of potential consequences for a probation violation. The specific consequences you face may depend on the severity of what you did.
Wyoming law permits a judge to send you to jail for up to 90 days, or you may receive penalties that don’t include jail time, such as:
- A loss or restriction of your privileges,
- Community service, or
- The State placing you in a residential community correction program for up to 90 days.
Usually, after you complete a jail sentence or residential community correction program, the State puts you back on probation.
But it is also possible that the court could revoke your probation altogether and sentence you as if you never received probation.
This is particularly likely if you committed a more serious violation, such as committing another crime, or violated your probation in multiple ways.
How Can a Wyoming Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You?
A criminal defense lawyer can increase the odds that you avoid jail time for your first probation violation.
A lawyer can defend you during your probation hearing and present evidence, if it exists, that shows jail time is not the proper punishment.
He is an experienced Wyoming criminal defense attorney who will fight to get you the best possible result.