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What exactly does it mean to be placed on probation?

Probation is one of the possible sentences that a judge can hand down in a criminal case. If you are being told that you will be placed on probation, you should make sure that you know what it means because failing to comply with the terms of probation can mean that you will face additional criminal charges.

What does it mean to be on probation?

When you are told that you are on probation, that means that you will have the opportunity to avoid being incarcerated. Instead of going to jail or prison, you will have to report to a probation officer who will monitor your activities while you are on probation. Generally, if you fail to comply with probation, you can be sent to jail or prison.

How long would I go to jail or prison if I don't comply with probation terms?

That depends on the sentence you were given. In most cases, your sentence will have a suspended sentence noted. If you fail to comply with probation terms, you could go to jail or prison for the length of time listed as the suspensed sentence.

What are some terms of probation?

Some of the universal terms of probation include staying out of trouble, going to court as directed, meeting with a probation officer, paying any fines or restitution and following travel restrictions. Other conditions, such as submitting to drug testing or avoiding speecific places can also occur.

If you are being accused of violating probation terms, you won't be given a jury trial. Instead, you will have present a defense to a judge. That means that you need to have your case prepared in an appropriate manner.

Source: FindLaw, "Probation FAQ," accessed July 08, 2016

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