What is Probation?
Probation is a court-ordered sanction put on an individual who has been found guilty of committing a crime. Probation allows the person to stay in their community in lieu of incarceration, with the requirement that they be monitored by a probation officer. However, probation is not an option for every crime – some offenders go to jail or prison without ever having the offer of probation on the table.
Types of Probation
There are several different types of probation in most states, including:
- Supervised Probation - The most common form of probation, individuals on supervised probation must submit to regular check-ins with their probation officer and report progress to the Court.
- Unsupervised Probation - Certain things need to be monitored, but regular office visits, home visits, and urinalysis testing are not required with unsupervised probation.
- Courtesy Supervision - The offender is placed on probation in 1 jurisdiction, but lives in another.
- Interstate Compact - The individual is not a resident of the jurisdiction but was placed on probation in that jurisdiction. With approval, the terms of their probation are transferred and they will complete their requirements where they reside.
- Intensive Probation - 24-7 monitoring. Intensive probation requires routine mandatory office visits where scheduled activities must be approved by the court. Paychecks must also be submitted for regular monitoring.
What Types of Crimes are Eligible for Probation?
In family court, offenders may get probation for domestic violence crimes. In criminal court, offenders may be sentenced to probation for charges including driving under the influence (DUI), theft, assault, sex offenses, possession of firearms, and burglary.
There are many factors that are considered during sentencing. An experienced attorney can help individuals charged with a crime determine whether probation is available.
What Types of Crimes are Not Eligible for Probation?
In most states, the following criminal convictions make a person ineligible for probation:
- A violent crime in which the defendant carried or used a deadly weapon other than a firearm
- A defendant’s 3rd or subsequent felony conviction
- Public corruption crimes like accepting a bribe or embezzling public funds
- Theft of or damage to property valued at more than $100,000
This is not a complete list, so be sure to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney about whether your offense of conviction makes you ineligible for probation.
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