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What happens if someone violates probation?

The state of Georgia takes probation violations quite seriously. No one is above the law, not even congressional candidates. Recently, a former candidate for Georgia Congress, Steven Foster, violated probation by not completing his court-ordered DUI classes. 

It is paramount for anyone with a criminal record to take probation seriously. Probation is an opportunity for those with criminal records to show they can become upstanding citizens. People can violate their probations in various ways, so the individual and his or her family and friends need to work to ensure the person stays on the right side of the law. 

Ways to violate probation

Ultimately, a person can violate probation in three ways. First, there are substantive violations, which occurs when a person commits another criminal offense. For example, the police may initially catch a person under the influence of illicit substances, and months later, the police catch the person in possession of the same substances. The second type is special condition violations. These include anything wherein the court required a person to fulfill certain requirements as part of the punishment, and the person failed to meet those requirements. Steven Foster's violation of probation would fall into this category. 

Finally, there are technical violations. These occur when a person fails to meet a requirement of the probation itself, such as leaving the jurisdiction, failing to report to the probation officer, failing to pay restitution and failing to pay various fines. 

Consequences of probation violations

In the event a person violates probation, he or she will need to go in front of a judge. It may be unclear whether the person actually violated probation, so it is up to a judge to determine what actually transpired. In the event the judge finds the person guilty, then he or she may face incarceration, an extension of probation, additional special conditions or additional community service. 

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