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If you violate the terms of your probation, you may be placed in custody by your probation officer, which is also referred to as having a “detainer” lodged on you.

You will then have a hearing before the judge who sentenced you previously. At the initial hearing, your lawyer will discuss with the prosecutor to see if your violation of probation can be resolved or if additional time is needed.

If your lawyer is not able to come to an agreement with the prosecutor the judge will set your violation of probation for a final hear. A final hearing is similar to trial because the prosecutor has to prove that you violated probation. However instead of a jury the judge is the one who decides and the burden of proof is much lower.

The judge may rule that you are in violation, “revoke” your probation and then sentence you to incarceration or a new period of probation. When your probation is revoked, a judge may sentence you to serve the remainder of the maximum sentence allowed by law for the charge(s) for which you were initially placed on probation.

This is different (and potentially more severe) than having your “parole” revoked, where you would only be sentenced to the remainder (“back time”) of your remaining jail sentence, but no more than that. In other words, violating probation can have some heavy consequences.