The criminal justice system has various options when it comes to sentencing, including probation. Courts impose probation under various strict terms and conditions that the defendant must follow. If they fail to adhere to them, there are various legal consequences depending on the severity of the breach.

When it comes to probation, people still have various questions about it. Clearing out misconceptions and understanding the facts is important when you are involved in a criminal case. Hire a Houston criminal defense attorney to help you navigate through the process.

Common inquiries about probation

1. How long does a person stay on probation?

The amount of time you spend on probation and the terms and conditions depends on the severity of your crime and the laws of your state. Generally, probation lasts anywhere between one to three years. However, it can be extended or even last for an entire lifetime for certain convictions, such as drug or sex crimes.

2. How do I take up classes while on probation?

When you first check with the probation department, you will have your orientation and assessment. There you will be offered various classes to choose from. You can contact your assigned probation officer for more information about the classes.

3. What are some examples of the terms and conditions of probation?

When a person is placed on probation in Houston, they are required to follow a variety of terms and conditions depending on the severity of their crime. Some of the common ones include:

  • Attending scheduled court appearances.
  • Meeting with the probation officer at the scheduled times.
  • Refraining from drug or alcohol usage.
  • Not traveling out of state without consulting the probation officer first.
  • Paying fines or restitution to the victim’s family.
  • Submitting drug and alcohol test reports.

4. What happens when the probation period expires?

If you have served your probation completely, your case is closed, and you no longer need to check in. Generally, you should wait until you receive a notification from the probation department about your case being closed. You can also check the status of your probation online.

5. What happens when you violate the terms and conditions of the probation?

A probation violation occurs when you do not adhere to any one or more of the terms and conditions set forward by the probation office. When the department suspects a potential violation, they will send you a warning or require you to attend a court hearing. If you have already violated a rule and the judge finds out about it, you may face the following consequences.

  • additional probation terms
  • a revoked probation
  • jail time
  • heavy fines