If you have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to probation, you are being given a chance to stay out of jail or prison. However, that second chance comes with the responsibility that you must abide by all of the conditions of your probation.
If you fail to live up to the conditions of your probation, the court can revoke your grant of probation and reinstitute your sentence. This means you could wind up spending time in jail or prison. To help you avoid violating probation, here are some tips you need to know:
- Get to Know Your Probation Officer
If you have a probation officer, try to build a positive relationship with him or her. Show him or her that you are trying to do your best and always maintain a respectful attitude. Your probation officer holds a significant amount of power over your future, including the ability to recommend to the court that your probation be revoked. Staying on his or her good side might make the difference if he or she has to make a judgment call as to whether you violated your probation.
- Know Your Schedule
As part of your probation, you may be required you to meet with your probation officer regularly or attend counseling. The last thing you should do is to miss any of these appointments. Write down when and where your probation appointments take place, set an alarm to remind you of them ahead of time, and plan to be there early. Most brands of smartphones have calendars and alarms that allow you to keep track of your schedule.
- Keep Your Probation Officer Informed
Your probation officer will need to know where you live and where you work. If you decide to move or take a new job, you should notify your probation officer as soon as possible with the new information.
- Pay Attention on the Road
Traffic violations alone are often not serious enough to be considered probation violations. However, traffic stops could lead to more severe allegations against you. If you are on probation (especially following a DUI conviction), take extra care when you are driving. Make sure your car has current tags and working lights. Avoid speeding, rolling through stops and changing lanes without signaling. Give the police no reason to pull you over.
- Avoid People Who Get You Into Trouble
This may seem like an obvious tip, but you may need to temporarily (or permanently) avoid certain people in your life. Suppose you are on probation and you go to a store with your cousin, who has been previously convicted of theft. While you were looking in another direction, he decides to put a few items in his pockets in order to steal them. The security guard noticed your cousin’s move, and decides to stop both of you at the door. You may have done nothing wrong, but you could wind up facing criminal charges, which could lead to a revocation of your probation.
As difficult as it may be, avoid spending time with friends and family members who have difficulty staying out of trouble while you are on probation.
- Pay Your Fines and Restitution on Time
If your probation calls for paying fines or restitution, be sure to make your payments as scheduled. Always keep receipts so that you can prove you have made the payments in a timely manner.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
The specific conditions of probation are different for every case. Some probation conditions may be more difficult to follow than others. If you are on probation, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the possibility of terminating probation early. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled team of attorneys has been successfully helping our clients with probation violation and probation termination matters for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.