Husband arrested for probation violation…HELP!!!

My husband plead guilty to a felony almost 3 years ago. Was given 2 years probation, one supervised, one not. He did not pay his restitution. He was arrested tonight for probation violation…why is that? Is it simply because he didn’t pay the money? If so, are the chances good that he is going to have to serve this 2 years now?

Asked on July 6, 2009 under Criminal Law, Mississippi


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of Mississippi, here are my initial impressions.  First, with respect to you specific question regarding whether your husband will have to serve the two years, before even going further into the analysis it is necessary for indicate the totality of your husband's sentence.  In other words, you indicate that you husband was sentenced to two years probation, but you do not indicate how many years of incarceration he had hanging over his head while the two years of probation were pending.  For example, it is possible that he was sentenced to six months to serve (execution suspended) with two years probation -- meaning that he would have to serve six months if his probation was violated.  Or, it is possible that he was sentenced to ten years to serve (execution suspended) with two years probation.  Thus, while he may may have been sentenced to any number of years to serve (execution suspended), it is first necessary to determine the length of suspended incarceration in order to begin to predict what type of time he is looking at now.

Next, as my colleague aptly points out, probation violations are often more difficult to negotiate when compared to pending criminal charges.  This is partly due to a lower standard of proof necessary to find a probation violation and the fact that the defendant is perceived to have broken a deal made with the court.  Nevertheless, it is possible that a skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to obtain a favorable resolution of this probation violation, especially if the only basis is that he failed to pay the restitution, and if he either can immediately pay it or can arrange to pay it in the very near future.  Thus, I agree with my colleague that your husband needs to consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney in the interest of obtaining the most favorable resolution of this matter as possible.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area of the law.  Once the judge sets a probation requirement it is in stone almost always.  If you fail to comply with those terms the consequences are severe.  However, even if you are convicted of violating probation you can still argue for less time or make a deal to add more time to probation instead of going back to jail.  I suggest that your husband hire a lawyer asap to help him with the probation violation hearing which he will be having.

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