What Happens if you Fail a Drug Test on Probation?

Probation is no easy thing. It is much more than a slap on the wrist. There are very real rules you must follow in order to continue enjoying many of the privileges of freedom while also understanding the consequences for crimes you have committed in the past.

What is Probation?

The short answer to this question is that probation is a period of time in which offenders are subjected to supervision rather than serving time in prison. Sometimes, this occurs after an early release from prison to ensure prisoners assimilate back into the population as good citizens. In other situations, it is an alternative to prison as long as they follow the rules of their probation.

Common Rules of Probation

There are several rules those on probation must follow. While some vary from district to district, others, like those listed below, are fairly consistent throughout all jurisdictions.

  • Random drug testing
  • Requirements to remain in the state
  • Mandated counseling
  • Periodic meetings with probation officers
  • Must abstain from criminal activities
  • Curfews
  • Financial asset monitoring
  • Social activity restrictions

Some places even require you to avoid contact with others who have been convicted of crimes. The focus of this piece, however, deals with what happens if you fail a drug test on probation.

Drug Testing Rules in Arizona

While random drug testing is part of all probation requirements in Arizona, those who are ordered into intensive probation programs in the state may be required to submit to weekly (or even more frequent) drug testing.

Consequences of Failed Drug Test

The use of illicit drugs and alcohol is often prohibited as part of your probation orders. This means that the use of these items is a parole violation and will be treated as such. There will be consequences that can vary according to the severity of your original crime and whether you’ve had other violations of the same type or of different types.

Violations: First Offense

In some cases, a first probation violation failed drug test offense will result in only a warning. Especially if the first probation violation is the failed drug test. This also depends on how severe the offense was.

Of course, your past good behavior and history with your probation officer will weigh heavily on the consequences assigned for a first offense when it comes to failing drug tests or failing to show up for your assigned drug screening, which is just as bad as failing one as far as your probation is concerned.

Violations: Second Offense

The 2nd failed drug test on probation often carries more substantial consequences. Among those consequences are:

    • Lengthening of the probation sentence
    • Jail time
    • Fines
    • Motion to revoke probation

Many of these also carry the consequence of added court costs, new bonds, additional legal fees, and lost time from work. In other words, they are not lip-service consequences.

Contesting a Violation of Probation

You can appeal the results of a probation violation hearing in Arizona. Timing is critical though as you only have 30 days from the date of the judgment to do so. Your best option, of course, is to appeal to the judge before the judgment is rendered through mentorship programs, seeking treatment for your drug abuse issues, or making positive contributions to society.

Contact a Lawyer

If you are facing a probation violation due to a failed drug test, you should contact a lawyer immediately. It is important to ensure that the drug test order was legal and carried out in accordance with the law. You do have rights while on probation and your lawyer is your best option for defending those rights. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and options or to appeal the negative outcome of a probation violation hearing.

The Nolan Law Firm