Criminal convictions carry serious consequences. While many of those convicted face jail or prison time, a suspended sentence with probation instead of incarceration is obviously preferable. Instead of being behind bars, those convicted of crimes have the chance to be part of their respective communities.
Specific responsibilities exist for those on probation. Any type of violation uncovered by a probation officer could result in the officer reporting them to the court, resulting in a judge taking a second look at the criminal case and possibly executing the suspended sentence and sending the person to prison.
Common probation parameters that courts may include in probation and community corrections restrictions can take many forms and include:
- Attending mandatory meetings with a probation officer, including in-person visits
- Restitution or reparation to victims of the criminal activity
- Adhering to a payment plan for embezzled funds
- Payment of fines and reimbursement for incarceration costs
- Attending addiction, mental health, or anger management counseling
- Undergoing treatment or rehabilitation
- Abstaining from alcohol or other substances
- Remaining in the court’s jurisdiction, if required
- Remaining employed or pursuing academic studies/technical training
- Complying with family obligations, including supporting dependents
- Refraining from owning/possessing a firearm
- Geographic restrictions
Probation versus parole
Probation and parole are presumed to be similar. Parole involves a set supervised release period after completing a portion of the sentence. Oftentimes citing “good behavior,” a prisoner is released and subsequently reintegrates into their community following time in prison. However, community corrections violations while on parole could derail the supervised release.
Probation and community corrections supervision while on parole requires strict adherence to the rules. The slightest violation can result in catastrophic consequences. Immediate legal representation is of paramount importance to secure the best possible outcome.