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Probation is usually considered an alternate sentence if you’ve been charged and convicted of a crime. You could be put on probation after being sentenced to a short time in jail or be ordered to complete a probation term instead of going to jail. Felony probation is a bit different in that there are more rules and regulations that you’ll need to follow. It’s usually easier for you to go to jail if you commit an act that violates the terms of your probation as well.
There is still a possibility that you’ll go to prison even if you’re placed on probation after going to court. More evidence could be found against you relating to your charges. If you violate your felony probation, then the officer over your case could issue an arrest warrant. Common violations include missing an appointment with your probation officer, failing a drug test, or being arrested for a new crime.
Aside from meeting with your probation officer, you’re going to need to make monthly payments. These payments are a fee for being on probation and sometimes cover restitution that you have to pay for the crime that you have committed, such as vandalizing property or injuring another person. Although there is some leniency if you’re looking for a job or if you’re going to school, you likely only be able to miss a few payments before a probation violation is issued.
When you make the decision to accept the terms of your probation, you’re agreeing to a contract. This means that you agree to abide by the mandates of the court until the term of your probation is over. Any action that goes against the contract could result in a violation, which could then result in going to prison or being sentenced to a longer probation term. You could also be ordered to take classes pertaining to the crime you committed or pay a higher fine if you violate the contract.
In the event that you’re unable to make it to your probation officer’s office, you can sometimes request to talk to your officer in a phone conversation. You can set a day and time to call your probation officer or have the officer contact you at a designated time. This is beneficial if you have a job that you might not be able to take time off from or if there is an emergency that you need to attend to that won’t allow you to be able to make a physical appearance in the office. A phone meeting usually isn’t one that is held all the time as your officer will need to administer drug tests and talk to you in person to determine if there is anything that you could possibly be hiding.
If you’re on felony probation, then you’re usually going to be restricted as to where you can travel. Sometimes, there will be locations you’re not allowed to visit because of the people who live there or because the location is where the crime that you committed occurred. You usually won’t be able to travel out of the state you live in and sometimes not be allowed to travel out of the county depending on the severity of your charges and the regulations associated with your probation term.
You’ll usually be asked to get a job while you’re on probation. If you’re unable to get a job, then you’ll likely be asked to complete classes to better yourself until you’re able to find a job. While on felony probation, you might not be able to work after a certain time each day. This can make it difficult to find a job, but if you’re honest with your employer, then it’s usually not an issue as long as you perform your job as asked. Probation payments can sometimes be taken out of your wages as well, making it a bit easier to keep track of this part of your probation term.