When you are charged with a crime, there are several things that can happen. One is that the charges can be dropped. One is that you can plead guilty. Another is that you can go to trial and get the verdict that way. If you plead or are found guilty, you may end up in jail or even prison. However, there is an alternative sentence that you may get. That is to be out on probation.
What Is Probation?
Probation is a way to serve a sentence. Just as with a jail time, you have a certain amount of time that you must serve. How long that time is depends on the severity of your crime, if you are a first-time offender, and the judge. Generally probation is more likely to be granted for non-violent crimes or first-time offenders.
How Does Probation Work?
When the judge gives you probation, you are given a set of conditions that you must meet. One of those is that you will have to check in with a probation officer. This officer will be part of the legal system in your area. You may have to visit them once a month, with weekly phone checks. You will have to make sure that the probation officer knows where you are living and working, as well as making sure that they have all contact information for you. If you don't check with them or violate any of the other conditions of probation, they can send you to jail.
Other conditions of your probation may include where you live. You may be able to live at home, but the judge may also tell you that you have to live in a half-way house. You may be limited as to who you can associate with as well, especially if you were caught with other people.
If you took a plea bargain, your attorney will negotiate with the prosecuting attorney about what the terms of your probation will be if that is what you are given. While you are on probation, you may want to continue to check in with your defense attorney from time to time as well, especially if you are worried about any of the conditions of your probation. Your lawyer can act as an intermediary between you and your probation officer if something goes wrong.
Getting probation can mean that you are able to spend time with your family, go to school, and continue working. As long as you meet the conditions of your probation, you will be able to serve your sentence with some relative freedom.
To learn more, contact a law firm like Law Office of Michael Marinaro & Associates