One of the common sentences for many criminal cases is probation. This enables the court to punish the person who was convicted of a crime, but that person will be allowed to remain out of jail or prison.
The use of probation is fairly easy to understand because it keeps new people from having to go into the overcrowded prison system. This also saves the government money because it doesn't have to pay the incarceration expenses of the person.
A person who is on probation is under the supervision of a probation officer. This officer works with them to ensure they are remaining in compliance with the terms of the program. This usually includes regularly reporting to the probation office, paying all fines and fees, staying out of legal trouble and holding a job.
The court will determine the amount of time a person is on probation. While this might be as short as a year, it can also be as long as life. The severity and type of crime that resulted in the conviction determine the length of probation.
If you are placed on probation, you will be expected to abide by the terms that were set. Failing to do so can result in your being charged with a probation violation. This is filed by the probation officer and is handled in criminal court through a bench trial. You will explain your defense to the judge, and that judge will review the case against you. If you are found guilty of a violation, you can face increased penalties, including incarceration.
If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation, it is advisable that you seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to present your case.