What is probation?

Probation is a sentencing option usually imposed on a convicted offender as an alternative to jail time. In certain cases it may be given in addition to a prison sentence. Probation is granted by a family court or criminal court at the time of sentencing. It can be granted or revoked only by a judge.

Probation allows the offender to remain in the community under court-specified conditions with restricted rights. For example, the person may be required to follow certain rules, perform community service, avoid certain people and places, refrain from using illegal drugs or appear in court during requested times.

The individual must also be supervised by a probation officer. In addition, they must be careful not to break the law in order to stay out of jail. Probation violations can have serious consequences.

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