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What is a Substantive Probation Violation?

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Individuals on probation are required to follow a significant number of conditions to remain free. If even just one condition is violated, the individual risks being sent to jail or incurring other consequences. While there are numerous ways to violate probation, there are two main categories of violations to be aware of: technical and substantive.

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Technical and Substantive Probation Violations


A technical probation violation is when the individual fails to follow the rules of their probation, but in doing so, did not commit any further crimes.

Common examples of technical violations include:

  • Missing a scheduled meeting with a probation officer
  • Missing a mandatory court date
  • Staying out past curfew
  • Failing a drug test
  • Not attending school or work
  • Not paying fines
  • Traveling out of the state or country without permission


A substantive violation occurs when the probationer commits a new criminal offense while on probation. For example, getting a DUI while on probation.

Consequences of Violating Probation

Being found guilty of a probation violation can lead to many different consequences. Almost certainly, though, a substantive violation will result in more severe penalties.

A probation violation may lead to:

  • Additional conditions added
  • The individual’s probation being revoked
  • The individual being sent back to jail

If the probationer committed a substantive violation, they will likely face new criminal charges for the recent offense.

If You Suspect You’ve Been Caught Violating Your Probation

If your probation officer or the courts know you violated your probation, they can put a bench warrant out for your arrest. If you believe you are in this situation, contact our team at First Coast Criminal Defense today. We can look into matters further to confirm whether or not you have a bench warrant and begin planning the best course of action if you do.

Our Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers are ready to take your call: (904) 474-3115.