What Does Being on Probation Mean?

Let’s Review Alabama’s Probation Basics

When you are accused and charged with committing a crime, depending on the evidence, you may be convicted of the crime. The range of consequences can be minor, such as fines, or more serious, such as incarceration. In some situations, probation creates a viable option for your case and can sometimes be considered the best alternative. But what does being on probation mean? 

Probation is the ability for someone who has been convicted of a crime to be released back into society in lieu of being imprisoned, for a certain amount of time, and can be supervised or unsupervised. Probation in Alabama is governed by Alabama Code Section 15-22-54. Under this statute, probation is determined by the court and can be continued, extended, or terminated upon the recommendation of the probation officer that supervises the defendant. If you are granted unsupervised visitation, you will not have to report to a probation officer, but you will have to ensure that you do not commit any new crimes. If you are granted supervised probation, you will be assigned a probation officer who will monitor you. Under supervised probation, you may have to undergo drug and alcohol testing, perform community service, and attend counseling. In Alabama, the time period for probation can be as short as six months or as long as five years, depending on the crime that has been committed.

What About a Probation Violation?

While you are on probation, the court, at any time, can issue a warrant for your arrest if there is evidence of a probation violation. A violation can occur for a range of reasons from the failure to pay fines to failure to complete a rehabilitation program. The probation violation penalty can be to revoke, modify or continue the probation. Because probation violations typically subject you to harsher penalties, it is invaluable to seek legal representation in this circumstance.

Need Legal Advice?

Probation will not apply to every conviction, but it applies to some, and when the terms are negotiated and carried out properly, it can facilitate moving forward while fulfilling your legal obligations. Let us know if you’d like to talk through your case and any potential for probation.


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