Probation Dos and Don’ts to Know
Individuals convicted of crimes may be sentenced to a period of probation in addition to or instead of jail time. Although serving a term of probation is far easier than doing time behind bars, it’s important to realize that you’re not home free just yet. Probation comes with a set of strict requirements and rules, and if you violate any of them, you’ll be in trouble with the court system again. Don’t hesitate to speak with your criminal defense lawyer if you’re unsure about any of the conditions of your probation.
Do understand your probation conditions.
Many offenders in Arizona are required to follow the rules of standard supervision. However, the court has the discretion to add special conditions to your term. You should carefully read all of the paperwork you’ve been given and talk to your lawyer if anything is unclear.
Don’t test the limits of your restrictions.
Failure to follow your conditions to the letter may result in a warning or violation of your probation. For example, it’s common for the conditions of probation to forbid offenders from consuming alcohol. This also means you cannot have any alcohol in your home or go to a place where alcohol is the primary attraction (such as a bar). Even if you aren’t drinking any of the alcohol in your home, it’s still a violation of your probation. Remember that your probation officer can knock on your door at any time and execute a search of your home.
Do speak with a lawyer if you’re considered in violation.
Sometimes, a first offense results in a warning from your probation officer. In other cases, the officer may file a petition to revoke probation. If this happens, you need to speak with a criminal defense lawyer right away. You’ll need to appear in court and either admit to the violation or file a denial. If you file a denial, your lawyer will try to demonstrate to the court that no violation occurred. If this is successful, the original conditions will be restored. Otherwise, you could be facing incarceration or additional restrictions.
If you’ve been charged with a crime or with violation of your probation, you need high-caliber legal representation to protect your rights. Contact the Tucson, AZ law office of Janet Altschuler at (520) 247-1789.