Facing jail time can be truly frightening for anyone. A felony charge could lead to harsh consequences that may have a lasting impact on your life. Knowing years of your life could be spent behind bars will make you look for any other possible solution. Probation sure seems like a much better option than serving time in jail or prison, but it isn’t as easy as you may think. If you are seeking probation instead of jail time, these are 10 important things to keep in mind.
- You Can Still Go to Jail if You Violate the Terms of Your ProbationLife on probation is not as restrictive as being in jail, but it doesn’t make you immune from serving time. Slipping up during your probation is a possibility, and it could result in you going jail or prison. Not following the terms of your probation could lead to your arrest and you could be ordered to serve the sentence for the crime you were originally convicted of.
- Probation Officer Meetings Don’t Have to Be in PersonYou will be assigned a probation officer if you are placed on felony probation. Meeting with a probation officer is required under the terms of felony probation. Most people assume these meetings are always conducted in person, but this isn’t always the case. After a few in-person meetings, it is up to the discretion of your probation officer as long as you have been in compliance and can keep in contact through video services like Skype or by phone.
- Supervision is Not FreeYou might assume that since probationary supervision is a necessary part of the criminal process, there is no cost to you. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Not only will you have to pay the fines incurred as a part of your sentence, but also the cost of probationary supervision. Extra costs may add stress to an already stressful situation but not paying these fees may be considered a violation of your probation.
- Breaking the Law Isn’t the Only Way to Violate ProbationIt goes without saying that being accused of a new felony or misdemeanor offense while on probation is likely a fast track to jail. However, your probation can also be violated if you don’t fulfill all of the conditions of your probation. Failure to meet with your probation officer, failure to seek employment or pay fines, or participate in certain treatment programs could be considered a violation of your probation.
- A Job is Likely RequiredMost courts will require you to be employed as a part of your probation terms. While it isn’t always easy to find a job, it is still important to try. Like many aspects of probation, it is up to the discretion of your probation officer to determine if you are actively seeking employment.
- Travel is RestrictedYour ability to travel across state lines or move to another state is greatly hindered by the conditions of your probation. Any plans to travel or move will require the permission of your probation officer. Be sure to communicate any travel plans outside your county so you won’t be in violation of your probation
- You and Your Home Can be Searched without a WarrantAs hard as it may be to cope with, you give up many things when on probation. Agreeing to submit to a search of your person or property without a warrant is a normal condition of parole, especially in drug cases.
- Remain Diligent About Your ActivitiesProbation has strict rules, so you need to be diligent about everything you do. Keeping detailed receipts of fees, proof of community service, job applications, and more will help you keep track of your activities and prove that you have complied with the terms of your probation.
- Develop Trust with your Probation OfficerAlways contact your probation officer about any changes in your situation. Don’t let them be the last one to know something. Though they may seem like a babysitter, don’t get frustrated by how often an officer contacts you. If you develop a relationship of cooperation or rapport with your probation officer, your time on probation could go easier.
- Probation isn’t the Final AnswerDuring your felony case, it is always important to discuss your options with your attorney. When compared to jail time, probation is ideal, but it may not be the only solution. Depending upon the severity of your case, a skilled defense attorney will be able to weigh your options for you. Instead of pleading guilty and agreeing to probation, it is possible that a more favorable outcome is available to you.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you or someone you love is facing felony charges, you will need an experienced attorney aggressively defending you. At Wallin & Klarich, our defense attorneys have more than 35 years of experience guiding our clients through the legal process and helping them reach the best outcome for their case. We can help you now.
With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Ventura, Victorville, and West Covina you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney no matter where you are located.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.