The assumption is often made that individuals on probation are not really facing any criminal penalties for the acts that they’ve allegedly committed. Yet individuals on probation generally face or have served imprisonment, are subject to various fines and are sometimes required to pay restitution to victims of crimes.
A woman that has been charged with forging $115,000 in checks stolen from an office that were written in Maryland and neighboring houses is looking at a sentence of between 9 to 23 months in prison, three years of probation and an order to repay all of the alleged funds. According to the criminal complaint, the woman supposedly wrote four different checks and attempted to make purchases with the checks and deposit funds in her bank accounts.
Another assumption sometimes made is that all individuals convicted are deserving of incarceration. This assumption is made without knowing anything about the particular suspect’s background and without considering that we do not have room to place every non-violent offender in prison.
It does need to be remembered that probation is a criminal sentence that is often placed upon first-time offenders that have been convicted of non-violent crimes. Such suspects are often required to perform certain supervised conditions including keeping a clean record or else face additional prison time. Negotiating the proper probation terms would likely require the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
As the above circumstances indicate, the conditions concerning probation are generally not that easy to meet. For someone just convicted, paying back $115,000 in restitution would be anything but a simple task as it will likely require years of working at extremely low paying positions.
Source: The Times Herald, “Woman forged checks stolen from West Conshohocken Foundation,” by Keith Phucas, April 10, 2012