Being convicted of a crime places you in a difficult position. There are some cases where you might not be sentenced to spend time in jail or prison. Instead, you could be given probation. A sentence of probation means that you can remain free in the community while you serve your sentence.
Being allowed to remain free doesn’t come without strings attached, however. You will have to report to a probation officer who is charged with ensuring your compliance with the terms of your probation. The terms can include making sure you hold a job, pay your fines and stay out of legal troubles.
Your probation sentence will have an end date. The judge gave you a sentence comparable to being sentenced to prison. Failing to comply with the terms of your probation.can result in your remaining on probation for longer,or worse.
Noncompliance with probation terms can lead to your probation officer violating your probation. He or she has some discretion over whether to pursue legal action for probation violations. But probation officers also have the option to handle things in-house in some circumstances.
Some of the terms that you must comply with can include:
— Reporting to your probation officer on a set schedule
— Taking drug or alcohol tests as ordered
— Avoiding places like bars or areas known for drug dealing or usage
— Refraining from associating with convicted felons
Other probationary terms might also be possible, so make sure that you understand fully the terms of your sentence so that you remain in compliance.
If you find that you are being accused of a probation violation, prepare for a serious situation. These cases are heard in bench trials, not in front of juries, so you will stand before the judge only.
Source: FindLaw, “Probation FAQ,” accessed May 26, 2017