If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, one of the penalties that the court may impose is probation. Those serving prison sentences who are released early on good behavior typically serve a parole period. Under both probation and parole, an individual convicted of a crime is put under supervisory status and must abide by certain terms and conditions.
Probation or parole can last a few months or a few years, depending on the crime committed. Offenders serving probation or on parole meet regularly with a supervisory officer to make sure that the terms are being met. The conditions of supervision vary, but parole and probation typically include a combination of the following:
- Paying fines by a set date
- Attending a rehabilitation course
- Completing community service hours as ordered
- Appearing periodically in court for evaluation
- Passing random drug tests
- Reporting regularly to your probation or parole officer
- Not being arrested or committing a crime
Failing to meet the terms and conditions of parole or probation can have serious penalties, including fines, jail time, extended probation, revocation of parole status, and being sent back to prison. It is important to know all of the conditions of your probation and parole and consult with your supervisory officer before you take any action that you think might be a violation. Thinking ahead and keeping in contact with your supervisory officer can keep you from serving more serious penalties or being re-imprisoned.
If you have violated the conditions of your parole or probation, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer immediately to help you with your case. A lawyer can talk with your supervisory officer and potentially renegotiate the terms of your parole or probation to give you a second chance.