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Know your probation or parole terms to avoid violating them

There are many conditions that people on probation and parole have to meet. Some people think that these terms are interchangeable, but they aren't. Probation is a criminal sentence that enables a person to remain in the community. Parole is an early release from a prison sentence that comes with specific conditions.

Both of these programs are based on meeting with a supervising officer who works to ensure that the person is meeting the terms. There are many conditions that are universal between the two, including remaining out of legal trouble, holding a steady job and staying away from other convicted felons.

Some people might have other probation or parole conditions that are based on their case. For example, some people might have to take random drug tests because they had a drug conviction. Gang members might be forbidden from contacting other gang members.

When participants don't follow the rules, they face the possibility of receiving a violation charge. Unfortunately, this can undo the progress that they've made toward the successful completion of probation or parole.

Having a good history with your supervising officer may be beneficial in these cases. Some officers have discretion about how to handle violations. If you do find that you are facing the court, be aware that you will face a judge and not a jury because these cases are handled in a bench trial.

You need to work on a defense strategy if you are charged with a violation. You can't just piece this together at the last minute because you are facing a judge who is familiar with the legal concepts these cases will utilize.

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