While the conditions of an individual’s probation sentence will vary for every situation, it may help to think of the probation system as a type of honor system. Violating probation has consequences that are not very pleasant. As such, it’s important to remember that if you have been granted probation, then you should follow the rules and guidelines of the probation agreement.
Violating your terms of probation can make it harder to complete your sentence, so it’s important to understand how probation works before taking on the challenge.
General probation requirements can include:
Generally, probation supervision gets conducted by an office of supervision, an agency specializing in the monitoring and evaluation of individuals engaged in the probation process. Supervision tends to require the individual on probation to regularly engage with the office of supervision, which can entail meeting with an officer in person, virtually, or by phone call.
The individual under supervision may have a specific probation officer they will have to check in with on a regular basis. Anyone that’s ever experienced a pre-trial diversion program or been under court supervision might find the process familiar, as the officer checks in to make sure the individual has been maintaining their probation requirements.
While the requirement can vary depending on the probation terms, the individual under probation will have to regularly report on several factors that can include:
- Payment of applicable fines and fees
Many crimes, both misdemeanors, and felonies have fiscal penalties the individual will have to pay to complete their terms of service. The office or officer will make regular inquiries on the fines and fees until the individual pays them off.
- Drug Testing
Drug tests may be another requirement, although the test frequency can be different depending on the individual’s violation. For example, being on probation for theft could require drug tests, but probably not as frequently as someone on probation for substance abuse or a related violation.
The terms and conditions of the drug tests could vary, too. The supervision office might conduct the tests on-sight and in-house, or they could send the individual to a third-party lab, which might require some travel from the participating individual.
- Travel Prohibitions
The terms of probation may put boundaries on where a person can travel. While prohibitions against interstate travel may seem like a given, the individual could also be prohibited from leaving their town/city or even their primary area of residence.
- Community Service
This can mean anything from picking up garbage by the highway to maintaining a city/town park. The individual may also be expected to undergo some therapy or mental health evaluation, sometimes at their own cost.
- No Further Crimes
Seems pretty obvious, but staying on the straight and narrow can be a very difficult challenge for those facing difficult life and work situations.
The most immediate consequences of failing to adhere to the probation program requirements can include additional fines and a return to jail to complete the remainder of your sentence. While it’s possible you could become eligible for probation again at a later date, the probation terms could become harsher and more restrictive.
We Can Help
The probation process can be like running a marathon, and it’s smart to have experienced legal professionals on your team for this race. David Clarke is an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney and a good resource if you have questions about obtaining probation or concerns about violating probation. Contact The Clarke Law Firm today at (615) 796-6299 or online.