Will a First-Time Probation Violation Send Me To Jail?

It’s its own way, probation can be even more stressful than being in jail. While on probation, there are hundreds of different things you can do to violate that probation and send you back into jail, and it’s impossible to remember them all. However, if you are looking at your first violation of your probation, it might not automatically mean jail. Probation violations often depend on the severity of the breach as well as the nature of the offense that landed you on probation.


In many cases, the first violation of probation is a warning by your probation officer, this is even more likely if you have otherwise been following the terms of your probation. For example, you will be told not to do drugs or alcohol, and while drugs may be considered a more serious violation due to their illegality, showing positive for alcohol use is not always a one way ticket to incarceration if it is just one time.

The key thing to remember when it comes to probation violations that will send you back to prison is that they typically involve committing crimes. For example, if you are on probation for assault and you are again arrested for assault after a bar fight while on probation, it is likely that your probation will be revoked even if it is a first offense. Committing the same crimes or crimes of a similar nature that landed you on probation require harsher punishments, and that means jail time.

However, the level of crime can also make a difference as well. If you were placed on probation because of a misdemeanor crime to mitigate jail time, committing another misdemeanor crime of a different nature may not automatically mean more jail time. It could be that your probation is extended instead. However, courts will not look on as favorably if you commit any crime while on probation as it shows a distinct lack of remorse for your actions and a disregard to the law.

Unfortunately, if you are on probation for any reason and commit a felony-level crime, you will be looking at jail time for your actions. Felonies are considered the most serious of crimes and require the most serious punishments.


There are times in which probation violation may not result in jail time because it was done in the case of an emergency. For example, if an emergency for some reason required you to cross state lines, a violation of any probation policy, you may escape with just a warning. However, you must accurately prove that it was indeed an emergency, and in many cases that can be a difficult sell to your probation officer.

Furthermore, if your probation was violated because of legal drug use, such as taking opioids after having a tooth removed or for an injury, you will not face a violation. However, in these cases, you will want to inform your probation officer of the incident as soon possible. They will likely want to see your prescription, but once they know, then that legal drug use will not count against you. Probation officers can be a hassle, but if you are upfront with them, typically they are willing to work with you.


If you believe your probation will be revoked, the easiest way to stop it is to prove that you were not guilty of the violation. In cases of committing another crime, it is as simple as getting that not guilty verdict. If you have been accused of another crime while on probation in Minnesota, contact us today. Let the professionals of the Speas Law Firm work with you to make sure you don’t face jail time when you don’t need to.