Some individuals who are convicted of crimes will be placed on probation instead of being sent to prison. For these people, remaining in the community is often a welcome situation. They must remember that it comes with specific conditions because you are under the supervision of a probation officer.

You can face legal consequences if you don’t comply with the terms of the probation program. These violations are handled through the criminal court system using a bench trial instead of a jury trial. This means that you will stand before the judge and present your case. The judge then determines the outcome of the case.

Reporting to your probation officer

Your probation officer is the person who will monitor your behavior and progress while you are in the program. You will have regular meetings with this person, so make sure that you always attend these appointments. Failing to keep appointments can mean that you are in violation. There is also a chance that your probation officer might show up at your home or place of employment to check on you. This can happen even if you are in compliance with the program.

Setting a case plan

Every person who is on probation has a case plan. This is established at the initial visit with your probation officer and is updated every six months. This outlines specific goals. It might include holding your current job or going to school. Working hard toward meeting these goals can help you to succeed with your probation.

Sample conditions

The conditions of probation can vary from one person to the next. However, there are some basic requirements that remain the same. You can’t get into legal trouble, hang around with convicted felons, or do illegal drugs. You might have to take regular drug tests. In some cases, the testing is random. Some probationers are required to work through a drug treatment program or attend other education programs. Your probation officer will give you specific conditions.

The working relationship you have with your probation officer is important. If you can build one based on trust and honesty, they might be more willing to work with you when things come up. You shouldn’t lie to this person, but you do need to remember that what you say to them can be used against you in court. For this reason, learn your rights and protect them if necessary.