Legal Guide

What To Expect If Sentenced To Probation

What To Expect If Sentenced To Probation 

Whether you have entered a guilty plea or the ruling was handed down by the court system, it is important to know what to expect if sentenced to probation. Most of us have a good understanding of the basic idea of probation, but there are some common misunderstandings that can result in real problems for you later. 

That’s why we’re going to break down what probation means for you here in this article. We will also get into the general conditions of probation, as well as your rights while serving out the probationary period. Read on to find out what to expect if sentenced to probation. 

Standard Conditions of Probation

While the conditions of probation can vary on a case-by-case basis, there are standard conditions that everyone is expected to follow. Though you are serving under a suspended sentence, you are still subject to any terms the judge ruling on your case has imposed as a condition of your release. Failure to comply with the conditions set forth violates the conditions of your parole and can result in having your probation revoked and a return to prison to serve your sentence. 

The standard conditions of probation are: 

  • Payment of all court costs and fees
  • Reporting to your Probation Officer on a regular basis
  • No arrests while serving probation
  • Staying employed or enrolled in school while on probation
  • No drug or alcohol use while on probation

Your Rights While On Probation

Even though you are not serving out your sentence in jail, probation is in many ways the same as being incarcerated in regard to some of your legal rights. You are still serving out your time and therefore you will give up some of your rights while doing so. Failure to comply with your probation officer or law enforcement is a violation of your service, so it’s important to know when to comply. 

Regular drug and alcohol testing is often required in the terms of probation, and your participation is mandatory. Your parole officer can request these tests randomly if they suspect that you are under the influence or have been during your probationary period. Refusal to comply can be considered a violation of the conditions of your parole. 

Your search and seizure rights are also affected. Similar to serving out your time in jail, you are subject to a search of your living area if your parole officer suspects you to be in possession of illegal contraband. In some cases, you may be asked to consent to a search of your home as a condition of your probation, but your parole officer does not require prior consent to search your home if they have a reasonable suspicion that you are in possession of contraband. 

Refusal to allow your parole officer to search your home is considered a parole violation and could result in serious consequences just like refusing to submit to a drug or alcohol screening and could result in your parole being revoked. Remember that you are subject to comply with all conditions set forth in regard to your probation to continue to serve your sentence. 

Final Thoughts

There are conditions to serving a suspended sentence that is important for you to keep in mind when serving out your time, but if you remember the standard conditions and comply with your parole officer, you will complete your sentence and get back to your life. You can proceed with the peace of mind that comes with knowing what to expect if sentenced to probation.  

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