The 3 Possible Outcomes Of A Probation Violation In California

In this post, I am going to explain the three (3) possible outcomes of a probation violation.

I’ll cover what happens in each situation so you understand what might happen if you violated probation.

What Can Happen If You Violate Probation?

If you are able to be placed on probation, whether informal or formal, as a part of your sentence, you will be expected to obey all of the terms and conditions of your probation and obey all laws for the designated period of time.

If you violate a term or condition of your probation or violate any other laws, even noncriminal offenses, this could result in a probation violation.

The consequence of a probation violation can include:

And various other sentences depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation and/or underlying crime.

3 Possible Outcomes If You Violate Probation In California

probation violation explainer chart

Types of Probation:

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, and probation is a part of your sentence, you will be placed on a less strict form of probation called informal or summary probation.

What Is Summary or Informal Probation?

The suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of revocable release in the community subject to the conditions established by the court without the supervision of a probation officer1.

The length of time for misdemeanor probation can range anywhere from 1-5 years, depending on the nature of the underlying crime, prior convictions, prior violations, etc.

Felony Probation

If you are convicted of a felony, and are lucky enough to be placed on probation, you will be placed on a more strict form of probation called formal probation.

Formal Probation:

Requires additional supervision to ensure that you are obeying all laws, as well as the terms and conditions of your probation. This additional supervision will be conducted by a Probation Officer, who provides a Probation Report to the court.2

The length of time for felony probation can range anywhere from 3-5 years, depending on the nature of the underlying crime, prior convictions, prior violations, etc.

 Once Sentenced to Felony Probation:

  • Upon release from jail or court, and placed on felony probation:  You need to report to the Probation Office or Department for supervision within 48 hours or within the time frame ordered by the court for orientation
Important Documents To Bring To Your Orientation:
  • Valid identification3
  • Verification of residence4
  • A copy of any and all document you were given by the sentencing court.5
  • Both formal probation and summary probation can be revoked when violated under California Penal Code Section 1203(a).6

What Constitutes A Probation Violation?

Probation can be violated in many different ways listed below

Original Designation Period Ordered By Court
  • Fail to pay fines associated with your sentence.
  • Fail to complete any programs associated with your sentence.
  • Fail to complete any classes associated with your sentence.
  • Fail to complete any community service associated with your sentence.
  • Fail to submit to any drug testing associated with your sentence.
  • Violate a protective order associated with your sentence.
Failure To Appear At Scheduled Court Date:

If you fail to appear for court, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.

If you miss a previously scheduled court date, you should contact an attorney immediately to get the matter back on calendar as soon as possible.

Failure To Notify Probation Officer Of Any of The Following:
  • To travel or move out of state:  You must notify your Probation Officer and obtain approval prior to leaving.7
  • If you are arrested, charged with any offense, or have any police contact: You must contact your probation officer immediately, or within 48 hours of it happening.8
  • Possess, use or sell illegal drugs.
  • Commit another crime or offense, including arrest, regardless of whether the offense is criminal.
Fail To Report For Supervision With Probation Officer

You must report on the day and time your probation officer schedules you.  If you have an emergency or illness that prevents you from keeping your appointment, call and speak directly to your probation officer or office supervisor and get a new appointment.


Failure to report may result in the return of your case for a Violation or Desertion Hearing.9 Depending on the specifics of your case, this could result in a verbal admonishment, a warrant for your arrest, suitable time in custody before being reinstated on supervision, or revocation of supervision and the imposition of your sentence.10

If You Have Violated A Condition Of Your Probation:

Contact an Attorney and appear before the court immediately

Once Before the Court: 

The Judge can make a determination of your violation at that time.  Depending on the circumstances, the judge will either

  • Find no violation
  • Violate & reinstate probation, or
  • Violate & revoke probation


You can request a Probation Violation Hearing.

Probation Violation Hearing:

If requested, this hearing requires the prosecution to provide evidence to prove that you, in fact, violated a term or condition of your probation.

This hearing takes place and is decided by the JUDGE ONLY. This hearing does not take place before a jury and is not a trial.

Filing a Probation Violation Instead of a New Case

The reason prosecutors file a probation violation instead of a new case in some instances is because the burden of proof is much lower in a probation violation case.  The prosecutor only has to prove that it is more likely than not that you violated your probation, and the court can impose additional terms on your probation including jail time.

Consequences of a Violation of Your Probation:

The consequences of violating probation include the following:

  • Lose eligibility to obtain an expungement of the underlying offense at the conclusion of your probation.
  • The court can modify the terms and conditions of your probation (ex: extend the length of your probation, add more terms and conditions, etc.)
  • The court can sentence you to jail time before allowing you to continue with your probation.
  • The court can impose the maximum sentence of jail time for the underlying offense and terminate your probation entirely.

Resources If You Violated Probation

Next Steps

If you have been arrested and would like to learn more about what attorneys charge.

If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.

If you are ready to discuss a pending case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-938-1274 for a free confidential consultation.

Request A Free Consultation 818-351-9555 


  1. []
  2. Id []
  3. Id []
  4. Id []
  5. Id []
  6. California Penal Code section 1203(a); People v. Glee (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 99. []
  7. []
  8. Id []
  9. []
  10. Id []


Priscilla Betancourt-Rodriguez

my husband has court april 12, on that date it will be 2 month hes been in custody for formal probation violation without sentence. he was taken in on a false charge. no charges were pressed against him but court is still pressing the issue, what kind of outcome are we looking at here? when will he be able to come home?

Hi Priscilla: I’m sorry to hear about your husband. You must be so frustrated with the unknown aspect of this. In order to know exactly what is happening with your husband’s case, we will need his case information. Without running a minute order in the matter, there is no way to know what is happening and why he is still in custody.

Christina Pate

My Husband is on probation for the most is 18 months. We was living in fort meade florida we had lost are jobs we was homeless we couldn’t take care of ourselfs his probation officer didn’t even try to give us rescources. One of are buddys from Ruskin Florida had told us we could come live with them. Well he asked his probation officer for a transfer she gave him one then gave him papers to see his new probation officer in the morning at 8am. He went to see his new probation this officer gave us resources helped him get a job we got are own place. Well he went back to see his new P.O for the second time he told my husband he has a warrant for his arrest. It so happens the warrant was for being out of County. But come to find out she did it after she transferred him to Ruskin. He is now in Jail waiting for his court date.

Hi Christina. Sorry to hear about your husband’s case. Unfortunately, because the case is in Florida, you should contact an attorney in the county in which the case originates. We are only licensed in California and I am unfamiliar with the procedures in Florida. Wishing you the best of luck!

My girlfriend violated her probation for not finishing her follow up after treatment in time and missed her court date for probation violation because they sent her paperwork for a court date to the right place but it came late because of partially wrong address, our address is 819 blah blah st and the court papers had 81 blah blah st this was her 1st violation ever for a dwi, her 2nd one, her first dwi was 13 years ago. She is in Scott county mn she was picked up on a warrent the 27th and has to see the judge on the 4th. What are the chances of her getting out on the 4th, for a first time probation violation I’ve heard Scott county is very strict about probation violation and she more then likely will get revoked and sit more time.

Hi Mark: I am sorry to hear about the complications with your girlfriend’s case. Unfortunately, we don’t practice in MN. Every county is in each state is very different on how they treat various probation violations. You will get the most accurate and reliable information from an attorney that regularly practices in Scott County. Best of luck to her!

Just wondering…My friend is on probation. She still has some time left but doing good. Complying. What if she had left the state at one time but probation doesn’t know. What would happen if they found out before she gets off?? Now let’s say she left because she was pregnant homeless and in an abusive relationship. Also at the time she had a warrant. She stayed gone for about 3mons. Came back and the same day went And paid the bond. Would any of this info matter, count as maybe a good reason for leaving??

My friend skipped parole for more than 10 years and didn’t get in trouble, not even a ticket. Then she got stopped and had her record run, and they let her go. Does that mean she’s off parole now? I’m curious if that’s really the case or they potentially didn’t check for parole violations?

I am on court probation. I just went to court for possession. I told them I will take it to trial because the 0.3 grams of dope they found inside the car I was driving was not mine. A day before the trial, the district attorney dismissed the case. But now they say I have a violation of probation hearing on the 3rd. How did I violate probation if there was no crime ?

Hi Diana, my gf was charged last year with misdemeanor domestic violence charge agaisnt her ex-bf. Been on probation and going to her court ordered class. The issue is that she lives in Santa Ana and the class where the incident happened is in Pomona. So she has to commute in rush hr traffic, cutting it close every so often. She violated the class once already for failing to show up to class on time. Due to having to get off of work, pick up her son from the babysitter, drive to Pomona, drop him off with family and then head to class. She was reinstated by the judge for that violation. But she just violated it again with for the same issue. What will happen now? And what can she do to help make it easier for her to complete her required classes as a working single mother?

Hey did you ever get an answer to your question? I’m in a similar situation I’m on formal probation and was arrested for misdemeanor possession. I am trying to get the charges dismissed and have court at the end of the month, but I already received notification to appear in court for a violation of probation. What if the charges are dismissed? am I automatically violated before the outcome of my new case?

My case got dismissed but I still had a violation of probation hearing. They say that the court doesnt need as much evidence to violate your probation as they would in a new case. So I took the stand. The officer came to court, took the stand. Then I did. Explained that the car was just bought 3 days prior at a police auction. The judge said I cannot find him guilty of any charges and will not be violating his probation. A win for me

My boyfriend was in a treatment program then got tricked into.goin to probation and they arrested him for post revocation release a felony

Hi my fiance has parole for a prior dv restraining order violation he did almost a year in prison when he got out his baby momma put a report on him she accused him of dv, even though they arent together, just cuz he wouldn’t let her take their daughter while she was intoxicated n driving … He didnt check in either due to that situation.. Well apparently he has court i. January for that case but he was issued a warrant and is now in custody with a no bail warrant.i dont see a court appearance scheduled does that process work

Hello Alyna: It depends on the county. Your fiancé should contact an attorney that practices in the county in which his case is assigned. They will be able to advise him.

Hello Lanette: I’m sorry to hear about your boyfriend’s case. He should hire an attorney for the probation violation hearing.

Leave a reply