In some cases, a person who is accused of drunk driving may be able to avoid prison time in exchange for a lighter sentence, which might include probation, community service, substance abuse treatment or fines. It is important for those in North Dakota to obey the terms of their probation. Serious consequences usually follow a probation violation for driving under the influence.

This is the case for a young man who had been in the national spotlight in 2013 for a high-profile drunk driving crash. He was charged after he struck and killed four others while driving with a blood alcohol content level three times higher than the legal limit. The Texas teenager received 10 years of probation instead of a prison sentence. Additionally, he was to spend time in a mental health treatment facility.

Now 18 years old, the boy and his mother have allegedly disappeared, and he has not been in contact with his probation officer. Subsequently, the teen now has a warrant on him. If it is determined that the teen violated his probation conditions, he could be ordered to serve a prison sentence of 10 years.

It is important for those who are both accused and convicted of crimes to seek a criminal defense attorney’s assistance. Probation violation has the potential to affect a person for years – a consequence that younger defendants may not understand. An attorney may be able to help those with criminal charges reduce their possible punishment, as well as advise them on how to avoid further penalties by cooperating with probation authorities.

Source: CNN, “Warrant out for Ethan Couch, the drunken-driving ‘affluenza’ teen,” Ashley Fantz and Ben Brumfield, Dec. 16, 2015