1203.2 (a) At any time during the period of supervision of a person [subject to any form of probation or parole]… if any probation officer, parole officer, or peace officer has probable cause to believe that the supervised person is violating any term or condition of his or her supervision, the officer may, without warrant or other process and at any time until the final disposition of the case, rearrest the supervised person and bring him or her before the court or the court may, in its discretion, issue a warrant for his or her rearrest.
Penal Code 1203 is a massive section of California criminal law that lays down the rules for probation in criminal cases, including DUI cases. It covers every aspect of probation and parole, from defining them to limiting how the judge uses them. It also sets forth repercussions for those who violate the terms of their probation.
DUI probation is almost always “summary probation,” which means that you do not have a probation officer supervising you, and you do not have to to check in with an officer on any regular basis. Instead, you are given the terms of your probation it’s up to you to follow them on your own. Probation is also a vital tool in DUI cases, because a good DUI lawyer may be able to get the judge to waive your jail time as long as you fulfill your probation requirements.
Unfortunately, judges have a lot of discretion in what those probation terms are. Basically, as long as a requirement has some logical connection to your crime, they can order you to do it. That means you may have to attend alcohol or drug treatment, stop drinking altogether, or attend “scare programs” at the morgue to convince you not to drive under the influence again. This is in addition to the standard DUI probation terms which can include DUI school and an ignition interlock device among other things.
These requirements can be expensive, time consuming, and difficult to live up to, which means that many well-meaning DUI offenders end up breaking their probation.
What happens if I break my probation?
It depends on how you broke it and how the courts found out.
One standard term of DUI probation is not to break any law until your probation is complete. That means that any officer who arrests you for something else, even unrelated to DUI, will report it as a probation violation. And PC 1203.2 gives officers the power to arrest you solely for breaking your probation.
On the other hand, the courts may find out about violations on their own. For example, if you have not presented proof of completing DUI school, or you have willfully refused to pay a fine, the court will realize you’ve violated probation and the judge can issue a warrant for you.
Either way, once you are back in custody the judge could send you to jail to make up for the jail time you originally got out of. They could also issue new penalties including additional jail time or tougher probation conditions.
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