Can You Go to Jail for a Probation Violation in New Jersey?

According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at the end of 2016 in the U.S., there were 4,537,100 adults under some type of community supervision. This is actually the lowest total since 1999. Those subjected to community supervision are either on probation or parole. Roughly 81% of those on community supervision are on probation.

Purpose of Probation in New Jersey

New Jersey courts consider probation an alternative to incarcerating certain offenders. Those sentenced to probation are supervised by a probation officer. This option allows individuals to stay within their community, maintain employment, and support their families. During the probationary period, offenders may be required to pay financial restitution and fines, complete a substance abuse program or counseling, and other conditions. If the offender fails to comply with the terms, they may be remanded to the court to face disciplinary action.

Common Conditions for Probation

  • To maintain support for dependents and related family duties
  • Maintain employment
  • Submit to physical or psychological treatment as needed
  • Submit to testing (screening) for drug or alcohol use
  • Pursue studies and/or training for professional or vocational purposes
  • To report to or reside in “a facility established for instruction, recreation, or residence” for those under supervision
  • To avoid “unlawful or disreputable” locations and individuals
  • Not to possess a firearm or other deadly weapon
  • Maintain an address within the jurisdiction and promptly notify the probation department with an updated address or place of employment
  • Allow for a probation officer to visit your residence and respond to rational inquiries
  • Satisfy all fines imposed
  • Those placed on probation must pay a monthly fee that will not exceed $25
  • To complete any required hours of community service

Summons or Arrest of Offender on Probation (2C: 45-3)

The court may summon a defendant prior to discharge from probation or issue an arrest warrant. If the probation officer has reason to believe that a defendant has not complied with the conditions of probation, they may arrest the individual without having a warrant. The defendant may be placed in jail without bail for sufficient time to determine if the individual was not compliant or did commit another offense.

Probation Revocation and Sentencing

If the court determines that probation should be revoked, they may impose a sentence for the original charge(s). If the court finds that a probation violation did not occur, “it shall not operate to toll” the period of probation. A defendant has a right to a hearing where they may answer the allegations and be represented by an attorney prior to a revocation or modification of probation.

The court will generally not revoke probation and impose consequences solely for not paying fines or restitution unless the failure to meet the obligations is done willfully. If these financial obligations have not been satisfied, the court may extend the probationary period.

Attorney Representation for Violations of Probation

Are you on probation and suspect, or have actual knowledge, that you are going to be summoned or arrested for a probation violation? In these situations, it is critical to proactively contact an attorney. Having assistance from a seasoned criminal defense attorney could prevent you from being incarcerated.

New Jersey Lawyers for Alleged Probation Violations

Those under active supervision from an adult or juvenile probation department are particularly vulnerable to harsh penalties for failing to satisfy the conditions of probation. The same potential exists if you have been charged with a subsequent offense while on probation. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has a unique understanding of these situations because he worked as a probation officer early in his career. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today


When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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