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What happens if I violate my probation?

When someone is convicted of a crime, it is common for a judge to grant them probation. When a defendant is granted probation, it means that the court will allow them to leave prison for the outside world as long as they follow a set of conditions. These conditions can range from mandatory drug testing, anger management classes, meeting with a probation officer or wearing an electronic location-monitoring device.

Violating the conditions of one's probation can result in several consequences-- some minor, others severe. So, what are some of the possible consequences of violating parole in Massachusetts?

A warning from the probation officer

The potential consequences for violating probation reside with the probation officer. In some cases, a probation officer may decide to let someone off with merely a warning. This usually only happens if a probationer is a first-time offender, committed a fairly minor offense or had extenuated circumstances that caused them to violate a condition of their probation. 

A probation violation hearing

In other cases, probationers won't be given a mere slap on the wrist. Generally, a violation will result in a probation hearing. The defendant must appear before a judge and either admit to or deny violating their probationary conditions. The judge will then determine whether a probation violation occurred.

Added probation terms

If the judge does determine that the probationer violated the terms of his release, then the court may decide to add additional restrictions. These additions are usually even more stringent than the original probation conditions. A judge may also choose to extend the length of the probationary period.


Probationers may also have to pay a fee as a penalty for violating their probation. Sometimes, a judge will allow someone to pay a fee rather than suffer a heavier penalty. In other cases, a fine may accompany other penalties.

Jail time

In serious circumstances, a judge may decide to send a defendant back to jail or prison. This usually occurs if someone has committed several severe violations. The jail sentences in these instances may end up being even longer than they would have been if the defendant had gone to jail instead of being released on probation.

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Anthony M. Salerno, P.C.
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Worcester, MA 01608

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