Going to jail is the biggest concern of many people facing criminal charges. Probation can be a way for them to avoid time in state custody while also facing ongoing consequences for their actions.
When the courts order probation, they do so in lieu of a more serious sentence, usually involving incarceration. You get to keep your freedom with certain limitations. You will typically need to report to a probation officer who monitors your behavior. They will expect you to meet with them frequently. Their goal is to help ensure your compliance with the requirements set by the courts.
Those requirements might include securing appropriate housing, obtaining or maintaining employment and passing random drug and alcohol tests. People on probation typically need to avoid all drug and alcohol use or risk failing a test.
What happens if you test positive for drugs or alcohol?
You can’t always predict when you will need to go in for a visit, so any drug or alcohol use puts you at risk of violating the terms of your probation.
Depending on the terms set in your case, an alcohol violation might not actually have much impact, provided that you don’t have any other major issues during your probation. However, especially if alcohol played a role in the offense, there may be rules about alcohol consumption in the terms of your probation.
Failing a drug test will typically mean a violation of your probation. You have the opportunity to explain the circumstances at a hearing. Without an appropriate response to allegations of a probation violation, the person on probation could find themselves serving the sentence they originally avoided in court. Learning more about probation and other criminal consequences can make dealing with the courts a little easier.