When you are placed on probation - whether it is a misdemeanor or felony
- you enter into a binding contract with the Court. The Court agrees not to sentence you to the maximum time of
incarceration, and you agree to perform certain conditions which are outlined in the probation agreement.
Only a Judge can place you on probation and define the conditions of that probation. A probation officer is the
enforcer of the Judge's Order. A probation officer cannot change (extend/end/modify) any condition of your
There are several different scenarios that can result from being on probation.
1) You successfully complete probation, and your life returns to normal.
2) You do not successfully complete probation, and the probation officer
files a violation (VOP) with the Court.
3) Your situation
or circumstances have changed, and you need to request that some or all of the conditions be amended (Modification).
4) You have completed the conditions of probation and would like to be released
from probation (Early Termination).
Violation of Probation (VOP)
When a violation occurs, the court will conduct an evidentiary hearing. Unlike
a trial, there is no jury. At this hearing the State has to prove to the Judge that it "is more likely than not"
that the violation has occurred. If the Judge determines that you have violated probation, you can
be sentenced up to whatever the maximum sentence could have been before you went on probation.
Modification of Probation
After being placed on probation something has
changed and you would like the court to amend your probation to reflect these changes. For example, you were given
50 hours of community service as a condition of probation. You haven't completed all of the hours, but you have some
extra money and would like to "buy out" the hours. This will require the Judge to agree and to modify the
condition of your probation to reflect this change.
Termination of Probation
While on probation, you complete all of the conditions and have not had any violations.
Under certain circumstances, you can ask the court to allow your probation to end (terminate).
Each of these scenarios (VOP, Modification, or Early Termination) require paperwork to be filed
with the court, and at least one court appearance. Whether you want to retain an attorney to represent you, or need
some assistance in handling it yourself, the Gapske Law Firm is here to help. Call today to schedule an appointment.