No one wants to spend time in jail or prison, and minimizing any period of incarceration if you are convicted of a criminal offense can be your top priority. Receiving probation in lieu of jail time can therefore come as a considerable relief to anyone in this situation.
However, while probation is preferable to incarceration, it is still a serious punishment with rules and you can face severe criminal penalties if you break those rules. In this post, we will briefly examine probation, the terms of probation and what can happen if you are accused of violating these terms.
What is probation?
Probation is a way for Pennsylvania courts to suspend a jail sentence. If you successfully complete probation, then the court can dismiss the charges. While on probation, you can have a job and be with your family. Depending on the type and terms of your probation, you may also be able to live in your same home and have the same friends.
What are the common terms of probation?
While you can still do many of the things you did before probation, you will be required to comply with conditions set by the court. The conditions of probation might include:
- Performing community service
- Getting a job
- Staying away from certain people or places
- Refraining from using drugs or alcohol
- Meeting regularly with a probation officer
- Complying with all state, local and federal laws
What if you violate probation?
Violating probation comes with serious consequences. In these situations, you face penalties for the probation violation, and the courts can reinstate any penalties that were suspended for your original crime. The courts can also revoke or extend your probation, and you can face substantial fines.
Understand that you need to take probation seriously, even though you can be very relieved to receive probation over other penalties. If you are accused of a crime and have questions about requesting probation, or if you are on probation and are accused of a violation, then you can talk to an attorney about the legal options in front of you.