Generally, there are two types of probation: misdemeanor and felony. Misdemeanor probation is usually referred to as Summary or Informal probation. The major perk of informal probation is there is no supervision of a probation officer. Once released on informal probation, the defendant will have to adhere to the terms the court laid out for him or risk much more serious sentencing if the release is revoked. Whenever one is convicted of a misdemeanor, this type of probation is almost always a part of the punishment. It tends to last anywhere from one to five years depending on the severity of the crime, the character of the defendant, and any priors. It is also much less strict than felony probation.
Felony probation, for some, is seen as a gift from the court. After committing a felony, oftentimes a defendant is likely to even be released on probation as opposed to serving jail time. This type of probation is called formal probation because the court has decided the defendant’s crime was so severe or he is so at risk to repeat that probation officer needs to check up on his whereabouts and activity. The officer ensures he is following all the terms of the order for the duration of the probation, which is usually three to five years.
Probation violation can be a serious offense. Failing to appear in court or inform the officer of life events (i.e. travel plans, etc.), or reporting to the officer can result in a violation. There could then be a warrant put out for the defendant’s arrest, which land the defendant back in front of a judge, who has full discretion to revoke or reinstate probation.
An attorney can request a probation violation hearing to avoid some of these troubles, but it is best to contact the attorney as soon as the defendant is aware of the violation. At this hearing, the prosecution must prove the violation in front of a judge, and a good defense attorney may be able to get probation reinstated rather than a jail sentence for her client.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, or their professional license is at risk, contact Attorney Miranda McCroskey for an immediate consultation at (714) 389-2257 or email her at email@example.com