Tennessee Probation Revocation Law

The circumstances upon which probation can be revoked are specified in Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-311(e): If the trial judge should find that the Appellant has violated the conditions of probation and suspension by a preponderance of the evidence, the trial judge shall have the right by order duly entered upon the minutes of the court, to revoke the probation and suspension of sentence and cause the Appellant to commence the execution of the judgment as originally entered, or otherwise in accordance with 40-35-310; provided, that in case of such revocation of probation and suspension, the Appellant has the right to appeal. Tenn. Code Ann. 40-35-311(e) (Supp. 1999). the Tennessee Supreme Court has stated that under this provision: The judgment of the trial court in this regard will not be disturbed on appeal unless it appears that there has been an abuse of discretion. In order for a reviewing court to be warranted in finding an abuse of discretion in a probation revocation case, it must be established that the record contains no substantial evidence to support the conclusion of the trial judge that a violation of the conditions of probation has occurred. the proof of a probation violation need not be established beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is sufficient if it allows the trial judge to make a conscientious and intelligent judgment. State v. Harkins, 811 S.W.2d 79, 82 (Tenn. 1991). Thus, "the revocation of a suspended sentence is committed to the sound judicial discretion of the trial judge, and his decision on the matter will not be reversed on appeal unless it appears that the trial judge has acted arbitrarily in the matter." State v. Williamson, 619 S.W.2d 145, 146 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1981).