Probation Violations

A sentence of probation can have valuable benefits, including potentially avoiding a criminal record, keeping you out of jail, protecting your job and allowing you to maintain your relationship with your family.

Probation essentially means that you are required to comply with a specific set of terms and conditions in lieu of being incarcerated.  If you successfully complete your probation, you may have no criminal record but failure to complete your probation can subject you to a separate offense for violating probation.  Judges and prosecutors do not view violations of probation favorably.

If you fail to complete all of the terms of your probation, the judge may issue a bench warrant that authorizes your arrest for the probation violation. When a person violates their probation they may find themselves facing a term of incarceration for the underlying offense for which they were on probation.

If you are arrested pursuant to a bench warrant for a probation violation in Pima County, you will typically be held for 21 days. For many types of probation violations, it is possible to limit the consequences of your probation violation to 21 day county jail time for violations like failure to report your probation officer, failure of the drug test or failure to attend a batterer treatment class.  There are a wide range of grounds that may constitute a probation violation but some of the most common include the following:


  • Missing a date to check in with the judge or probation officer
  • Violation of a no contact order
  • Not testing or failing to pass a drug test
  • Failure to appear (FTA) in court or failure to pay (FTP) a fine
  • An arrest for a new crime
  • Use of alcohol if you were ordered not to consume alcohol
  • Failure to complete court order classes or counseling
  • Removing an ankle monitoring device


The grounds for alleging you violated your probation are very important because if the violation is linked to being arrested for a subsequent crime you may face very serious consequences.  Pima County has a policy of requiring that the sentence for an offense for which there was a probation violation be served and that the term on any subsequent offense be served consecutive after the first term has been served.  If you are acquitted on the new charges or if the new charge is dismissed, you cannot be found to have violated your probation on the prior charge by committing a new crime.


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