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Probation: Ins and Outs

There are many possible outcomes when a person is convicted of a crime, one of them being probation. Probation is a period of time that you are released from custody with certain terms and condition you must follow. Generally, probation is a good thing because you don’t serve your full sentence. However, probation is not offered for every crime. Those placed on probation should understand that their freedom can be taken easily.

There are two types of probation. Supervised probation (formal) is when a person reports to a probation officer for testing and review of the terms and conditions of release. If they fail to comply, this can lead to an extensive amount of jail time. On the other hand, summary court is much more informal than supervised probation. With summary court, the person just needs to abide by the law and not commit any new offenses. Between the two, supervised probation is much more common.

Probation can be ordered by the court in two ways:

  1. The court can withhold any sentence and place the person on probation. If the sentence is withheld, the person will be brought back before the judge to be sentence if their probation is revoked.
  2. The court can impose a sentence but stay it for a period of probation. If this is the case, the person would automatically receive the sentence if their probation is revoked.

The conditions of supervision means the court orders you to carry out specific activities related to your crime history. These could include community service, attending classes, or paying restitution. These conditions are ordered by the court and the probation agent. If the probation is revoked, you are entitled to a probation revocation hearing. At this hearing, the judge must find you violated probation as well as it being so serious that revocation is the only necessary alternative.


At Hart Law Office, our criminal defense attorneys understand the distinctions surrounding probation and will work hard to defend against alleged probation violations. We can assist you in finding alternative to revocation, even if you have violated probation. Contact us for a free consultation

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