There are different levels. First of all, there is supervised probation, where you have to meet with a probation officer at their direction, which is usually monthly. There’s also unsupervised probation where you might just mail in a piece of paper once a month, verifying that everything’s going well and what you’ve accomplished.
Within the realm of supervised or unsupervised probation, there are usually three tiers. These aren’t official but in general what you’ll find is there’ll be an easier level probation with fewer requirements. There will be a middle level of probation with a little bit more and there will be an intense level probation where they are heavily involved in everything you’re doing and requiring a great deal of time and attention by the client.
It is very important that people understand that all probations are not the same, that they can be very different based upon people’s history, what exactly occurred in this particular offense, the judge, the court, the probation department of that court, and the prosecutor’s attitude. There are a number of different factors that all have some role in determining the final outcome, along with what effort we as a defense put forward to convince the judge that you deserve an easy probation or short probation or no probation. All of these things affect each case differently.
It really does pay for people to spend the time and money to make sure they get the best possible outcome. That can be the difference between success with completing probation or failing probation and ultimately going to jail. The worst case scenario for a lot of people is to almost complete probation and then violate and go to jail. People may occasionally forget one small stipulation or they start to assume that the court isn’t going to check them for this or check for that any longer, and then everything falls apart. There’s a lot to worry about.
Can Probation Ever be Modified?
It can happen. The court has the discretion to determine what level of supervision you need and what you need to be doing during that probation. Those terms can be modified by the court as needed or as they see fit. It goes both ways. They can be eased up or they can be tightened up depending upon if the court thinks you’re doing the right things or not. The client can, if they feel comfortable enough, approach it through their probation officer on their own.
If you can afford to hire an attorney to help you with it, then it’s worth it because I know the language that they speak. I know the issues that might be successful and the ones that might not be successful in the best way to present it to the court. I don’t think you have to have an attorney to do that but it’s probably better to use somebody who knows the system better than you do. We’re going to usually know the individual tendencies and likes and dislikes of the judge and the probation in that court.
Are Probation Officers Allowed to Come to Your Residence or Place of Employment Unannounced?
They can, but I’ve never had a situation where they showed up at somebody’s work unannounced. I have situations from time to time where they will show up at the person’s house. What they’re trying to do at that point is usually see if there’s drugs or alcohol in the house and see what the environment is, and see whether the person really is living where they say they’re living, that kind of thing.
It doesn’t happen too often but occasionally it does but it is rare that they do it. They don’t really have the manpower to be running around that much. It’s a lot more common in felony cases when they are first evaluating you to determine whether or not to put you on probation. They may look at the living arrangements that you have and see who you’re living with and what it looks like. Even that is not typical but that occurs more frequently than it does for a misdemeanor probation.
Does Probation Have Any Effect on Driving Privileges?
Probation itself doesn’t have any effect on your driver’s license. It’s only a matter of whether the offense that you’re convicted of has any effect on your driver’s license. Whether or not you’re on probation doesn’t affect your driver’s license.
For more information on Levels of Probation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 451-2200 today.