There are many options for sentencing in a criminal case. Probation is part of the sentence for some people pleading or found guilty. This is an alternative to incarceration, so courts sometimes default to this for non-violent crimes.
Being placed on supervised probation means you’ll have to report to a community supervision officer who will ensure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. There are a few things to remember when you’re on supervised probation.
1. Terms are strictly enforced
Each probation program has specific terms that must be met. These typically include:
- Avoiding socialization with felons, parolees and probationers
- Staying out of legal trouble
- Holding a job
- Reporting changes in address or contact information
- Remaining in a specific geographic area
The intake officer will review the term with you to ensure you understand precisely what you can and can’t do while on probation. You can also talk to your supervising officer about any questions you have.
2. Some terms are customized
Some probation terms might be customized based on your needs. These include things like wearing an ankle monitor or having random drug tests. The probation office often handles programs like Drug Court. Those have special terms for participants.
3. Probation violations are serious
If you don’t comply with the rules, your probation officer can file for a probation violation. This is serious because it can lead to various issues, including imposing a suspended sentence. These cases are heard by a judge instead of a jury.
Anyone facing criminal charges should consider possible sentences as they’re developing a defense strategy. Having someone on your side who can help you evaluate the options may help you to make decisions you feel are in your best interest.