Probation Process


Getting Sentenced

  • If you're on probation, you probably committed a misdemeanor or were released early from jail on good behavior. Probation is seen as a break for the convicted. It's usually in lieu of jail time, but if you violate your conditions, you may be back in the big house.

The Conditions

  • When on probation, the offender will have to follow several conditions. Usually, if this is a multiple offender or the crime is more serious, there will be more and stricter conditions. Almost all offenders will have to submit to alcohol/drug tests, and stay employed. They will not be allowed to carry firearms and may even have a curfew. Some offenders will wear an electronic tag so the officials can keep track of them, and almost all of the convicted will have to perform some community service.

Getting Out

  • There are only two ways to get out of probation: Make it through the given period without violating any of the conditions, or violate the conditions and go back to jail. If, however, you check in with your probation officer on time each month, pay your fines on time and stay out of trouble, you could possibly be granted early release from your probation. If you decide to break the conditions and get caught, your probation officer will notify the prosecutor, who will then request that you go before the court again. If you can't prove your innocence, then the judge can sentence you to any sentence that applied to the original crime, including jail.

Why Probation?

  • The main reason the court would sentence an offender to probation as opposed to jail is cost. It costs approximately $1,000 a year to monitor someone on probation, whereas it can cost upwards of $30,000 a year to imprison someone. If the crimes are mild or the person is a first-time offender, it's easy to see why the court would choose probation.


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