Why is Missing a Probation Appointment So Serious?
After going through the legal process and being released on probation, there is a strict set of rules that each individual must abide by and are expected to follow, or they may go back to jail or prison. By not following these rules, a probation violation may result.
Judges and probation officers take these infractions very seriously, as it shows them that you willingly disregard your duty and the rules of your probation. Therefore, your freedom could be at stake.
Common probation violations include missing a probation appointment, failing a drug test, failing to complete court-ordered counseling or treatment, and more. As a condition of your release, you are accepting responsibility to follow the strict rules of your probation and understand the consequences for not adhering to the rules.
Common Reasons to Miss a Probation Appointment and How to Avoid Them
Sometimes, there may be a justifiable reason for missing a probation appointment. However, most or all of the scenarios listed below can be avoided with careful planning or help from others.
Suppose you were in a serious car accident that meant you couldn’t make your appointment. It’s essential to have those around you vouch for you and help communicate with your probation officer why you missed the meeting or may not be able to attend an upcoming one due to your serious injuries or hospitalization.
You are required to travel for work. This situation can quickly be resolved by fully communicating with your probation officer about your schedule and location of work so they can verify that making your appointments isn’t logical and arrange another option to meet with them.
Funerals or other serious family matters. If an upcoming funeral or other serious family matter coincides with a probation appointment, you can communicate this with your probation officer and attempt to reschedule at another time.
An emergency involving children or other family members. If an unforeseen circumstance occurs, you can immediately contact your probation officer and inform them of the issues. If it’s possible to get them before your appointment, this is ideal, but if you aren’t, contact them immediately following the appointment to explain why you weren’t present.
What Should I Do If I Miss a Probation Appointment?
You must contact your probation officer immediately after realizing you missed your appointment. They can work with you and reschedule the meeting if you are showing good faith by communicating with them immediately.
Depending on your charges, your history of missing appointments, or how easily and effectively you have communicated with them in the past and followed the rules provided, you may have an option of avoiding a probation violation on your record.
It may also help you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can provide sound advice on what to do next or help establish your options should you need to go to court to face a probation violation.
Ways To Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Probation Officer
There are several ways to strengthen your relationship with your probation officer that may help them overlook your missing an appointment in the future.
Adhering to every rule that applies to you, whether making appointments, completing cour-ordered treatment (counseling or therapy or other programs), completing community service work, and more. Ensuring that drug testing of any kind is passed without any issues can help establish your willingness to abide by the rules of your probation.
If you are generally prompt with your appearance and communication with them and have a history of these things, they may overlook one missed appointment. Whereas, if you have missed several meetings in the past and are difficult to get ahold of or refuse to adhere to other rules, your probation officer may not want to allow you any more mistakes.
Permission to Miss a Probation Appointment
As discussed above, you may have approval from your probation officer to miss or reschedule an upcoming appointment if you have communicated effectively with them. It is essential to get a confirmation of this missed or rescheduled appointment for your records.
Should you not have confirmation and there be an oversight or miscommunication with your probation officer, this may result in an unnecessary probation violation. Communicate with them beforehand to reschedule or obtain approval for missing an appointment and ask that they send confirmation so you can have this information handy should you need it.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me With a Probation Violation?
Missing a probation appointment could lead to a probation violation, which is a very serious matter. Probation violations can lead to extending or revoking your probation period together, resulting in your return to incarceration.
An experienced attorney can help you defend yourself against the violation, whether through establishing an error in communication, proving a healthy track record of following the rules up until the violation, and more.
Legal negotiations is another imperative skill set that criminal defense attorneys bring to the table. They can negotiate with the prosecution to allow for a lesser sentence for your violation, which may help you avoid jail time.
Avoid the severe consequences that can be imposed on you should you violate your probation by working with an established and dedicated criminal defense attorney. Your future and freedom may be at stake, and you should take this process very seriously.
We take every case very seriously and provide a small office attention with a large office team of experience and aggressiveness that our clients deserve. Contact our office at (317) 623-4546 to get started.