Some people, after being convicted of certain crimes in Wisconsin, are sentenced to probation. Probation keeps you on the outside of a jail cell – but it also subjects you to certain rules that you must follow. If you violate your probation, the judge in your case can send you straight to jail.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Happens When You’re on Probation in Wisconsin?
Probation is a sentence, just like one you’d receive if the judge sentenced you to jail time. However, probation lets you stay in your community instead of requiring you to be locked away in jail or prison. Usually, probation comes with requirements that the judge sets forth. The terms of probation vary based on the crime and the judge, but typically, people on probation:
- Cannot break any other laws or they can be sent directly to jail.
- Must check in regularly with a probation officer
- May have to take and pass regular drug tests
- Could be sentenced to community service
- Can’t leave the state without permission
If you complete your probation successfully – which means you didn’t violate any of the terms and you did all the things you were supposed to do (such as attending drug or alcohol counseling) – the court will say that you’ve served your full sentence.
What if You Violate Your Probation?
Judges only offer someone probation instead of jail when they believe that it’s safe to release the person back into his or her community. When someone violates probation, the state takes it very seriously.
The probation officer can put a “probation hold” on you if he or she believes you’ve violated the conditions of your probation. The police can take you to jail while the probation officer completes his or her investigation. If the probation officer determines that you violated your probation, he or she can revoke it – and then you’ll get a hearing in front of a judge. Usually, that hearing takes place within 15 days of your arrest; another hearing must occur within 50 days of the day you were first detained. The judge in your case will determine whether you violated your probation – and if he or she says you did, you may have to go back to jail and serve the sentence you would’ve gotten for the original crime.
Do You Need Legal Advice on Probation Violations?
If you’ve been accused of violating your probation, we may be able to help you. Contact us online or call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and start building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.