As an alternative to jail time, a judge may impose a period of probation on a defendant when found guilty. Probation allows the defendant to be out in the community but subject to certain conditions for an assigned period of time.
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It is important to fully understand all the conditions of probation before you enter any agreement - "I didn't know" will not be an excuse after the fact. Some common requirements of probation may be: meeting with a probation officer on a regular basis; undergoing random periodic drug testing; not being accused of other crimes; paying court-ordered fines or victim restitution. You will also be required to pay fees associated with supervision.
Supervised vs Unsupervised Probation
There are 2 types of probation: supervised and unsupervised. Supervised probation is when a probation officer is assigned to make sure that the list of probation requirements, set by the court, are being fulfilled by the defendant. The probationer will have to check in with the probation officer periodically and the probation officer will be able to check in on the probationer at any time to ensure that everything is on the up-and-up. Typically, the judge will also order that the probationer must comply with any requirements set by the probation officer; the probation officer will not need to gets the courts permission to set these new requirements. A probation violation can be filed by the probation officer for any failure to comply with the terms of probation.
Unsupervised probation is typically only provided in misdemeanor cases or in felony cases where the defendant has already completed a period of supervised probation. It does not involve a probation officer and typically the only requirement is that the probationer refrain from breaking the law during the period of probation. In these cases the probation is only violated if new charges are brought against the probationer.
Many problems can arise from probation, it is a very tight leash. If even one minor thing goes wrong you could be charged with a probation violation. If a person violates their probation they may be subject to severe penalties.
Probation violations should be taken very seriously. They often come with severe penalties. However, the situation is not hopeless, negotiations can lead to positive results. Too many people give up hope when they are accused of a probation violation - they just settle for whatever punishment is offered. Do not allow this to happen to you. I have experience in handling these cases and have achieved some very good results. Let me fight for you.
Early Release From Probation
You may feel that you have been on probation long enough, that you have proven yourself and that the court no longer needs someone keeping an eye on you. We can file a motion with the court for early release from probation. In most cases, the court will only consider early release if:
- The probationer has completed at least half of the original probationary period.
- The probationer has not violated your probation up to this point.
Similarly, even if you do not seek to get off probation entirely, you may seek a reduction in the requirements of probation. Again, typically you must complete at least half of the set probationary period but after that time has expired, and as long as you have done a "good" probation, we can file a motion to modify probation or move you from supervised probation to unsupervised probation.