Updated: Dec 17, 2019
If you or someone you know has ever been convicted of a crime, you're aware that probation is generally preferred to spending time in jail. Probation comes with restrictions and conditions that the offender must follow carefully, however, or they'll risk facing serious consequences.
What is probation?
Probation suspends the jail time of a convicted person for a specific period as long as they display good behavior. The sentence is served under the supervision of a probation officer. Once the offender completes probation, they have fulfilled the sentence.
What does it require?
At the bare minimum, most probationary periods likely require regular weekly or monthly check-ins with the probation officer. The person on probation must follow all laws and often will have to abstain from consuming any drugs or alcohol and submit to drug testing.
What happens if someone violates probation?
The consequences usually depend on the violation. For example, if someone misses a visit with their probation officer for the first time, a warning might be issued, especially if there was an emergency that prevented the person from making it to the meeting.
The consequences can be much harsher for bigger mistakes. If an offender is found to have consumed alcohol or drugs, they could be sent to rehab. Probationary periods can sometimes be extended if the probation officer feels it's necessary. In the worst-case scenarios, such as frequent missed visits or committing another crime, probation can be revoked and the offender can be sent back to jail.
If you or someone you know is on probation, it's important to comply with all the stated conditions. If you have questions about this or any other legal issue, please reach out today.