When a person is convicted of a crime and goes before a judge, they may be granted probation before being sentenced to jail time. Depending on the severity of the offense a judge may grant probation to a defendant instead of sending them directly to jail. Probation is a court-ordered period of supervision served in the community. It allows for a person to remain in the community while having to comply with certain conditions. When a judge agrees to grant probation instead of prison time, the defendant has a list of conditions that must be met in order to remain out of jail. Failure to comply with probation conditions can result in additional jail time.
Probation is not offered to every person. For some crimes, time in jail is the only punishment available but for the lesser offenses, a person may be eligible for probation. Factors that a judge will consider are:
- Severity of the crime
- Criminal history
- Attitude/Level of remorse
A judge can determine if a person is a serious risk to the public by reviewing their background and criminal history. These can be used to determine whether they should be released safely back into the community.
Other factors that make a person an ideal candidate for probation are regular employment and family support. Showing that a person has a stable job helps prove that they are responsible and are a good risk. Having support from family financially and emotionally may be evidence that they can help them to make better decisions and adhere to the conditions of their probation.
Conditions of Probation
If a judge does grant a person probation, they must then determine what types of conditions will be required based on the severity of the crime. Standard probation conditions can include:
- Obey all laws
- Report as directed to a probation officer
- Pay all court-ordered fees/fines
- Maintain employment/school
- Do not use or possess illegal drugs or weapons
- Perform community service
Probation allows a person to work in the community, earn money to support their family; however, if any of the probation conditions are not met, they can end up back in front of a judge facing more probation terms or additional jail time.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, knowing the next steps can make all the difference. Talking to the right people can help to keep things running smoothly. We at Mercy Bail Bonds are here to provide you with excellent service and information when you need it. Whether you or a loved one needs our help, please know that our friendly and dedicated staff is here to help. If you have any questions or wish to discuss how we at Mercy Bail Bonds can help, please feel free to contact our office at (727)856-7775. We will take the time to walk you through every step of this process and answer any questions you might have along the way.