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I'm already on probation and I got arrested again

Question: I’m already on probation in Forsyth County for marijuana possession and I got a DUI last week. I know I shouldn’t have gotten arrested and I think that may be a probation violation and I’m scared that now the judge is going to send me to jail.

I got the pot charge because I was driving and I got pulled over and the cop smelled weed and he asked me if I had any pot and he asked me if I was smoking in the car. I lied and said I never smoke pot. But the cop could see my pot on the center console of my vehicle. I forgot to hide it like I usually do when I get pulled-over by the police. Sometimes I hide the pot and sometimes I eat it.

As part of my pot possession sentence I got probation. I know you can’t get in trouble on probation or else you could get jail time. But a week ago I got stopped for a DUI because I had too much to drink at a party and I drove home.

If my probation officer finds out about the DUI I think I could get locked-up for violating probation. I don’t know how seriously they take a charge like DUI and I don’t know if the judge would actually put me in jail. But I’ve heard some stories from friends and I’m not looking forward to this. I’m hoping that since I haven’t pled guilty to the DUI that could help me. I mean, is getting arrested, but not convicted, still a probation violation?

My probation officer seems pretty cool, but he might get pissed if he finds out I got a DUI. So far I haven’t been caught for any probation violations.

S.M. in Cumming, GA

Answer: Getting arrested while you are on probation is definitely a probation violation. You can be sent to jail if you get a probation violation. That is totally within the judge’s discretion. In fact, any violation of the law is a probation violation. Of course, a traffic ticket (for most probation officers and judges) would not be considered as bad as a DUI, a drug charge, or an assault or battery charge.

A probation violation charge is brought by your probation officer. The probation officer files a petition alleging that you violated your probation conditions. Then it is up to a judge to decide if you violated probation and what your sentence should be, and that can include jail.

To be clear, just getting arrested is a violation of probation. The probation violation is getting arrested, whether or not the charge is eventually reduced or dropped.

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