Michael C. Hennenberg

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You must understand how you could violate your probation

After a criminal case, you wind up on probation. This means you get to live at home and, to the outside, it appears that life moves on as normal for you. As a white-collar executive, you know how important your reputation is. You're glad that you can essentially live a normal life and put whatever happened behind you.

One key thing you need to keep in mind is that you can still make the situation worse. If you violate the terms of your probation, it's a criminal offense. You can do this intentionally or accidentally. You must understand the terms so that you don't make another mistake that puts you in a far worse position.

So, how do probation violations happen? Here are some of the main ways:

  1. The court tells you to come in at a set time, on a specific day, and you fail to show up for that court appearance.
  2. As part of your sentence, they tell you to pay specific fines, and you fail to do so.
  3. You have set meetings with your probation officer, when you must go to a certain location at a specific time. You intentionally skip those meetings or otherwise neglect to attend.
  4. You commit another crime, even a "minor" one, while you are still on probation.
  5. You get arrested by the police for any type of offense before your probation ends.
  6. You use illegal drugs while on probation. You could also get in trouble for simply possessing them or, naturally, attempting to sell them.
  7. You visit people or go to specific places that are prohibited under the terms of your probation. This is where every case is unique and you must understand what specific rules you need to follow.
  8. You decide to leave the state, even for a completely innocent reason, even though doing so is also prohibited by the terms of your probation. In some cases, you can get permission to leave the state from your probation officer, but you have to do this in advance.

For someone in your position, these travel restrictions could pose the biggest issues. If you need to travel for work, don't assume you can do it just because you know that you're not breaking the law or because you understand that the travel is mandatory for your job. Talk to your probation officer first or a completely innocent business trip could land you in legal trouble.

As you can see, it's critical to both understand the terms of your probation and to know exactly what legal steps to take in Ohio if accused of violating those terms.

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