Posted by Gurjit Srai In Criminal Defense April 13, 2024 0 Comment

Some criminal convictions often carry a term of probation for a specific amount of time. Probation may be in lieu of imprisonment or in addition to it. Regardless, if you have been ordered to complete a probation term in California, it is important that you have a thorough understanding of what is expected of you while on probation and what the consequences will be if you violate those terms.

What Is Probation?

When you are charged with formal criminal charges, you only have three ways to resolve those charges:

1. dismissal,

2. Trial, or

3. Plea bargain.

If the charges are dismissed, your criminal case is over. If you take your case to trial, your fate will be decided by a judge or jury. If they find you guilty of the charges, the judge will determine an appropriate sentence. If you enter a plea negotiation with the prosecutor, your sentence will be whatever your New Jersey criminal defense attorney and prosecutor agreed upon, if it is approved by the judge.

Probation may be part of your plea deal. If so, you need to be aware of a possible suspended sentence that is frequently included when probation is ordered. The court may sentence you to one year in prison, for instance, but suspend the entire prison term and order you to spend that one year on probation instead. Although this means you will serve a prison sentence, it is important to understand that you have been sentenced to a prison term by the court and any violation of your probation may result in executing the suspended portion of your sentence.

Formal Probation v. Informal Probation

Probation can be designated as formal, also known as summary probation, or informal. Summary or formal probation is generally granted in misdemeanor cases, and you are not required to be supervised by a probation officer. Formal probation is ordered in felony cases where a state prison sentence is not imposed. Formal probation must be strictly supervised and monitored by a probation officer in compliance with the terms of the probation.

Violation of Probationary Terms

If you fail to comply with any terms or conditions of your probation sentence, you will be in violation of your probation. Depending on the seriousness of the underlying case and the nature of the violation, you will face serious consequences. Some of these consequences include:

  • Imposition of a state prison sentence
  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Treatment programs
  • Counseling
  • Drug/alcohol testing

Call an Experienced Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested or is facing a criminal investigation, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you learn about your legal rights and options.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Fresno criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call 209-323-5558 or complete our online form.