If you are sentenced to serve time on probation, it's vital to follow all the rules. If you have never had to experience this before, you should fully understand what it involves and how to use this experience to help you avoid committing more crimes in the future.
What It Involves
Probation normally lasts for one to three years, but it could last longer or shorter than this. You will be told how long your probation will last when the court tells you. The court will also assign you a probation officer who you will meet with. Your probation officer will give you all the details of your probation sentence, and these might include the following rules or requirements:
- You cannot receive any criminal charges during this time.
- You may have to take drug tests periodically to make sure you are staying clean.
- You might have a curfew.
- You may have to stay away from certain places and people.
- You will have to attend meetings with your probation officer on a regular basis.
These are some of the common requirements of probation; however, there may be others that you must follow too. If you are not sure what your requirements are, make sure you ask your probation officer.
How To Use It To Your Advantage
Getting probation as your punishment may not seem very pleasant to you, but it really is not a bad way to pay for the crime you committed. In fact, you will be able to avoid going to jail if you are willing to follow your probation requirements, and you will never have to be on probation again as long as you avoid breaking the law.
If you end up doing something that you are not supposed to do while you are on probation, you may forfeit the right to use this as your punishment. Your probation officer will notify the court if you break the rules of the agreement, and the court may then punish you in a different way. In most cases, probation officers will give a warning before they proceed with notifying the court; however, this is not always the case. It will depend on the severity of what you did wrong. If the court is notified, there is a chance that you may end up being placed in jail for a period of time to compensate for your actions.
If you have any questions about a crime you are being charged with or probation that you must serve, contact a good criminal law attorney like Hawkins Bingham & Miller.