For many criminal charges, a criminal defendant can avoid spending time in jail through court ordered probation. Typically, probation is granted for lesser charges or for criminal defendants with no previous criminal records. Probation comes with many requirements and any violation of these requirements will result in arrest and harsh punishment.
Probation is a tool of the criminal justice system that allows defendants to remain free in addition to or as part of the punishment for a crime. By allowing probation for criminal charges, the already heavily occupied jail/prison system avoids adding another prisoner while the defendant gets to enjoy conditional freedom. Some of the common conditions of probation are:
- Obeying all laws (including minor violations like littering);
- Meeting regularly with a probation officer;
- Maintaining gainful employment;
- Undergoing regular drug tests;
- Abstaining from alcohol and illegal drugs;
- Wearing a GPS ankle bracelet;
- Performing community service or volunteer work; or
- Undergoing counseling;
How To Receive Probation
Generally, the ability to receive probation is up to whether the judge will allow it. However, probation also depends on the type of crime with which the defendant is charged. In the individual statutes that define the elements of certain crimes, the statute may explicitly prohibit probation due to the seriousness of the crime. In those situations, the power to grant probation is taken out of the judge’s hands. When the crime does not prohibit probation, the judge will look at several factors to determine whether to grant probation:
- Seriousness of the crime;
- Whether the crime was violent in nature;
- Whether the defendant is at risk of flight or violence to others; and/or
- The defendant’s criminal record;
Although probation is a much better alternative then serving a jail or prison sentence, some criminal defendants still manage to violate probation. This violation can result in arrest and imprisonment. If you are in a situation where you have received probation instead of or in addition to other punishment, it is important to be aware of all the conditions of the probation and to follow them exactly in order to not violate your probation.
If you or someone you know have been charged with a crime, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney that can help zealously defend your case. Contact Us at Minick Law, P.C. for a free consultation on your case.
James Minick is founder and C.E.O. of Minick Law, P.C. James is committed to providing top notch legal services through his team of highly specialized legal professionals. James will defend your rights.