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Substantive versus Technical Violation of Probation

What is the difference between a technical and a substantive violation of probation? This is a common question that I receive when a family is facing a probation violation. There are basically two ways a person can violate probation. One type of violation of probation is called is substantive and the other is technical.

A substantive violation is when there is a new law violation also called a new substantive charge or case. For example a person who is accused of driving in violation of driver license restrictions while on probation for a DUI will have what is called a substantive violation. This is because there is a new case for a separate criminal violation or offense.

A technical violation is defined as "not substantive". Literally if there is not a new law offense or arrest, then the violation of probation will be classified as a technical violation. You can think of this as the probationer failed to follow the rules of probation. If there is a rule or condition of probation that is broken, such as a missed curfew, missing a class, a dirty urine or failed drug screen, then that will be a technical violation. The Court can sentence a probationer to the maximum even if the alleged violation is merely a technical. See my blog "I have a violation of probation but it is "just a technical", what can they do to me?" for more on this.

Any violation of probation is a serious matter. Please click or call today for an initial consultation into your probation matter.

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