What violates a suspended sentence?

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Criminal Law, Arkansas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There are two categories of violations of suspended sentences:  technical and new offense.  Technical violations were where a defendant fails to comply with any written conditions that the judge imposed on him/her.  Often it involves failing to report, failing to pay restitution, failing to complete community service hours, or just failing to complete a rehabilitative class timely.  If it's in the probation orders and a defendant fails to do what they are told, it's a violation.  The second category is new offenses.  New offenses can range from anything from a traffic offense to a higher level felony.

As a general rule, many judges will revoke a suspended violation for serious non-technical violations-- like the commission of a new serious offense.  However, a defendant should never gamble that their particular judge will follow this pattern.  Even though this is the practice of many judges, there many others that will (and by law can) revoke a suspended sentence for minor violations, like failing to report one month.    Any violation from a minor technicality to a major new offense can result in the revocation of a suspended sentence.

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