What Happens If I Violate my Probation for a DUI Conviction?

DUI probation conditions and what happens if you violate your probation.

By , Attorney · University of San Francisco School of Law

Generally, defendants who are convicted (either by plea or trial verdict) of driving under the influence (DUI) will have to complete a term of probation as part of their sentence. The length of probation depends on the circumstances but generally is anywhere from one to five years. Here are some common conditions of DUI probation and possible consequences of violating these conditions.

DUI Probation Conditions

When you're on probation, you need to follow certain rules that the judge includes as "conditions" or "terms" of probation. Conditions of DUI probation vary depending on the circumstances but commonly include requirements such as:

To ensure the offender doesn't use drugs or alcohol while on DUI probation, the judge might also require continuous drug and alcohol monitoring using methods like SCRAM (secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring) bracelets or drug patches.

Penalties for Violating DUI Probation Conditions

The consequences you'll face for violating the conditions of DUI probation depend on the situation. Judges and prosecutors have a range of options for dealing with probation violations. But the severity of the penalties typically hinges on the seriousness of the violation.

For example, if a defendant violates probation by failing to complete a substance abuse class on time, the judge might just give the defendant a warning and reinstate probation. If, on the other hand, a defendant gets arrested for drunk driving while on probation, the judge might revoke probation and impose more severe penalties such as jail time.

Defendants who are accused of a probation violation have the right to a hearing in front of a judge to contest the allegations. The hearing is similar to a trial in that the prosecution and defendant can present evidence and the prosecution has the burden of proving the violation occurred.

When a defendant does something that not only violates probation but is also a crime—like driving under the influence—the defendant might also face new criminal charges.

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