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A person who is going through a criminal trial knows that there are several ways the trial can end. In some cases, the person will be found not guilty. When the person is found guilty, there are several possible sentences, including incarceration and probation. Some people might have some questions about probation.

What is probation?

Probation is an alternative to incarceration. Generally, probation is reserved for people who are considered low risk, and in some cases, they are first-time offenders. Probation involves close monitoring and removes some of the freedoms normal citizens enjoy.

How are a probationer’s freedoms affected?

Probation officers and probation programs set specific guidelines for people who are on probation. The court can opt to set specific guidelines for each case. The probationer has to report to a probation officer to ensure he or she is complying with the conditions of parole. If the probationer fails to comply with the set terms, the probation can be revoked.

What is probation revocation?

A probation revocation can occur when a probationer doesn’t follow the probation program and a judge decides to revoke the probation. When probation is revoked, the defendant loses his or her freedom and is sent to prison.

What are the goals of probation?

Probation is meant to protect the rights of the person who was the victim of the crime. It is also meant to help rehabilitate the defendant and help protect society from future criminal activities the defendant may be tempted to commit.

Being sentenced to probation is a welcome sentence for many defendants who are facing time in jail or prison. Anyone who is facing sentencing should understand how every possible sentence will affect them.

Source: FindLaw, “Probation,” accessed April. 09, 2015