What to Expect If You’re on Probation
When you are convicted of a crime in New Jersey, you will be facing severe consequences that include possible prison time. However, under certain circumstances, you may be able to avoid incarceration and instead be sentenced to probation. Probation is geared more toward rehabilitation than punishment, so the convicted offender has a chance to serve their sentence outside of jail and remain a functional member of society – so long as they adhere to court-imposed requirements.
If you are convicted and then placed on probation, you should expect at least some of the following:
Meetings With Your Probation Officer
These meetings will occur frequently and you will need to show up for every one of them. Failure to make it to an appointment with your probation officer could lead to your probation being revoked.
Electronic Monitoring Device
Depending on the circumstances of your criminal offense and the nature of your punishment, you could be confined to house arrest and required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet or some other type of device that allows law enforcement to keep track of your whereabouts at all times.
Since probation is geared toward helping the offender become a valuable, contributing member of society, most probationary sentences in NJ include some type of community service requirement.
Random Drug Tests
For individuals convicted of minor drug offenses, or anyone who is allowed to go through Drug Court instead of the county superior court, it is highly likely that random drug testing will be a condition of sentencing.
Drug or Alcohol Counseling
For offenders with drug or alcohol addiction and abuse problems, the judge may include counseling sessions as a mandatory part of the probationary sentencing.
Domestic Violence Counseling
If your criminal offense involved an act of domestic violence, it is possible that the judge will require you to attend anger management classes or some other type of counseling as part of your probation.
Limited Freedom of Movement
Although you will not be incarcerated, you will probably be required to remain in a certain area as long as you are on probation. This means that even vacations to other states will need to be approved by your probation officer.
Seizure of Firearms
As someone who has been convicted of a crime, you will likely be barred from owning or otherwise possessing any firearms.
Probation may allow you to stay out of prison even after being convicted of a criminal offense, but it does not mean that you will have an easy time. A probation officer will be assigned to your case and they will monitor you and evaluate you to make sure that all the probation requirements are being met. One slip-up on your part and the probation officer will report you to the court. Moreover, failure to abide by the rules and requirements of probation could lead to an arrest for violation of probation and revocation of the probationary sentence. Ultimately, this could mean that you will be headed to prison.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Atlantic County, NJ, it is imperative that you have a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. The experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you fight your criminal charges and avoid jail time. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation.