Violation of Probation

After being sentenced to probation, you should quickly complete all of the special terms and conditions so that your probation can be terminated early. If you are accused of violating probation, then a warrant can be issued for your arrest so that you are brought back before the court for a show cause hearing on the allegation that you violated probaiton.

To revoke probation after the show cause hearing, the trial court must find a violation of the probation agreement by a preponderance of the evidence. The trial court must also find by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was willful and was not the result of circumstances beyond the probationer's control.

Many people are surprised to learn that even a single violation of probation, such as the failure to pay costs or a fine, is legally sufficient to support a probation revocation.

Attorney for a Violation of Probation in Salt Lake City, UT

If your probation officer intends to file an affidavit showing that you violated probation, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Salt Lake City, UT. Your criminal defense attorney might be able to help you come into compliance with the outstanding terms. Alternatively, your attorney might be able to help you find defenses that are unique to your case.

After you are charged with the violation of probation, your attorney can help you review the affidavit from your probation officer that explains the alleged violations. At the initial hearing, you must either admit or deny the allegation. If you admit the violation, your attorney can help you explain why the violations occurred. If you deny the violation, then your attorney can help you fight the allegations at the hearing.

Our attorneys can help you find out what probation violation consequences might attach to your case. If a warrant for your probation violation has already been issued, then call us to find out what you need to do right now. We help clients during an order to show cause hearing in front of the judge.

Call (801) 532-5297 today.


What Happens after a Violation of Probation in Utah

In some cases, it makes sense for the court to sentence a person to probation instead of sending them to jail or prison. Courts will typically sentence someone charged with a misdemeanor to probation for 12 months. A person charged with a felony can be sentenced to probation for a much longer period of time.

During the time a person is placed on probation, the person must comply with certain standard conditions. Those standard conditions can include meeting with their probation officer once a month, paying a fine, paying cost of supervision, submitting to random drug testing, or avoiding any new law violations.

The court might also include special conditions targeted to that specific case such as completing counseling or performing community service.

To prove a violation of probation during a hearing, it must be shown that the violation was both willful and substantial. If the court finds that a person violated probation during a hearing, the court can typically impose any sentence that it could have originally imposed.


Types of Probation Violations in Utah

The most common types of probation violations include:

  • failing to pay monetary obligations such as a fine, court costs, or restitution;
  • failing to report to the probation officer once a month or when required;
  • moving to a new location without permission from your probation officer (sometimes called "absconding");
  • failing to complete counseling such as DUI school, anger management classes or drug counseling;
  • failure to complete special conditions of probation such as performing community service;
  • testing positive for using illegal drugs during a blood or urine test.

Your criminal defense attorney can help you understand the requirements and standards probationers must follow. 


Probation Conditions for Sex Offenders

In Utah, probation requires compliance with several standard conditions that all probationers must follow. The conditions are enhanced for individuals placed on sex offender probation in Utah who are supervised even more closely and held to higher standards.

Utah's criminal justice system has established Group A conditions, Group B conditions and Group C conditions. The differences in the groups depend on the nature of the underlying charges including:

  • Sex Offender A Program - for sex offenses involving a minor victim; 
  • Sex Offender B Program - for sex offenses involving an adult victim; and
  • Sex Offender C Program - for age-related unlawful sexual activity such as sexual activity with a minor or with a 16- or 17-year-old.

Some types of probation in Utah have Electronic Monitoring Program Conditions that apply.


Procedural Requirements for a VOP Hearing

In probation revocation proceedings, notice of the claimed violations is required to ensure that defendants receive the minimum requirements of due process. For example, the failure to provide such notice of the probation violation only constitutes reversible error when lack of notice is prejudicial to the defendant.

Other due process requirements for misdemeanor and felony probation violation hearings include:

  • the court must hear testimony or view evidence submitted in open court during a hearing;
  • the alleged violation must be willful and substantial;
  • the violation of probation must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence (the "more likely than not" standard); and
  • the person accused of the violation had an opportunity to testify, present evidence and question the witnesses that testified against him or her.

Collateral Consequences of Probation or Parole Revocation

Several collateral consequences occur with a probation or parole revocation including:

  • the use of the revocation as ‘prior history’ in future contact with the legal system;
  • the Adult Probation & Parole Office (AP&P) uses probation revocations as an “aggravating factor” in the sentencing recommendation matrix;
  • the state regularly refuses plea offers or offers of probation to defendants with probation revocations; and
  • the person might be unable to qualify for a reduction of the degree of his or her offense under Utah Code section 76-3-402.

Additional Resources

UDC Adult Probation & Parole - Visit the website of the Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) to learn more about the role Adult Probation & Parole (AP&P) plays in Utah’s criminal justice system. AP&P Agents not only supervise probationers to ensure compliance with the special conditions of probation, they are also given the task of helping the probationer find housing, employment, education, training, and counseling. Utah's Adult Probation & Parole system is divided into five regions that cover the state. The article also defines the terms probationer and parolee in Utah’s Adult Probation & Parole system.

Salt Lake County Probation Services - Visit the website of Salt Lake County to learn more about misdemeanor probation supervision. The supervision fee is $30 per month. The supervision fee can be paid at the Criminal Justice location in Salt Lake City, UT, with a Visa or MasterCard credit card, cashier's check or money order. Additional fees are charged for other services ordered by the court including an ignition interlock device, treatment, classes, or alcohol / drug testing.


Finding a Lawyer for VOP Show Cause Hearings in Utah

If you were placed on supervised probation in the State of Utah in or around Salt Lake City, then call us to find out more. Our attorneys understand the substantive and procedural rules that apply to probation violations in both felony and misdemeanor cases.

Our criminal defense attorneys also help clients accused of not complying with the terms of the Interstate Compact Waiver and Agreement if the probation is being served outside the state of Utah. In many of these cases, the probationer is considered to be a fugitive and can be brought back to Utah through an extradition process.

We can help you understand how the sentencing guidelines might apply to your case after a warrant is issued for your arrest after a probation violation. Call us to find out more at (801) 532-5297.


This article was last updated on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

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