Despite the inarguable importance and usefulness of probation, most people
do not know exactly what it is or how it is obtained. If you have found
yourself in the same situation of needing answers about probation but
not knowing where to get them, Naegle & Crider can help you. Our Mesa
criminal defense attorneys offer
free case evaluations to prospective clients and may be able to assist you in understanding
and getting probation. For answers to some basic questions regarding probation,
please review this handy
Probation FAQ provided below.
What is probation?
After someone has been convicted of a
felony, the court will need to decide on punishment, including incarceration.
Under special conditions, the judge may decide to use probation in lieu
of any jail time, allowing the convicted to stay within their home and
community so long as they meet certain requirements – i.e. break
no additional laws.
What are common probation conditions?
Probation conditions will vary between sentences but each one has the
goal of keeping a criminal offender from breaking the law again and in
a similar fashion. For example, if you were convicted for
robbing a store with an accomplice, you would be banned from seeing that person during
your probation. Common conditions also include paying all fines and restitutions,
never breaking any laws, staying within state boundaries, and avoiding
What is a probation officer?
When a person is given probation, they will also be assigned a probation
officer, who will “check in” on them from time to time. Terms
of a probation sentence will usually include monthly or weekly meetings
with a probation officer to prove that the convicted has not violated
probation conditions. During these meetings, mandatory, irrefutable drug
tests may be administered, especially if a
drug crime was linked to the conviction.
How long does probation last?
Most probations will only last as long as the jail sentences they replaced
but some can last longer, as a bit of a trade-off – you stay out
of jail but must be “on your best behavior” for an extended
period of time. Typically, probation will last between 1 to 3 years but
could potentially go as long as the judge sees fit; it is not impossible
to receive lifelong probation for certain felony convictions.
Are there penalties for
If you break any of the conditions of your probate, you have committed
another crime. Your probation officer will be given the option to warn
you, or order you to go to a probation violation hearing. At this hearing,
the presiding judge can add more conditions to your probation, extend
the probation, implement fines, or revoke your probation and send you
to jail as if your original sentence was imprisonment instead.
Can my probation’s duration be reduced?
If you have completed at least one-third of your probation without incident
or violation, you should be eligible to request a probation reduction
or complete removal. The judge hearing your petition will have complete
discretion over the outcome. Talk to your attorney about what you can
do to build a persuasive argument that may cause the judge to listen to
Is parole just another word for probation?
No but it is understandable to make this mistake. Parole is very similar
to probation but involves the early release from jail or prison, rather
than avoiding incarceration altogether. If you have been sentenced to
imprisonment but were not barred from seeking parole, you should talk
to your criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can about scheduling a