What is probation and what happens if I violate it?

Probation is a privilege and not a right. Probation is an opportunity to prove that you do not need to be incarcerated. When a person is placed on probation, the court normally enters a jail or prison sentence, but suspends the imposition of the sentence, provided that the defendant complies with certain requirements, such as reporting to a probation officer, not being arrested or convicted of new offenses while on probation, pay restitution, attending counseling or other conditions set out by the court.

If the court finds that a person violated probation, it means that they have not complied with the conditions set out by the court. The court can then impose the previously suspended sentence and place the defendant in jail or prison. It is very important to let your Public Defender know if the reason you were unable to comply was due to financial, substance abuse, or other issues, so that the court can consider the information and, hopefully, reinstate the term of probation.