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What is Probation?

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Probation is an alternative to serving jail time that some convicted individuals may be eligible for. Before probation was established, all those convicted of a crime had to serve at least some jail time. However, it was determined that jail time was not an appropriate punishment for all crimes or convictions. During probation, individuals must follow the rules and regulations of their specific program.

Probation is an excellent option for convicted individuals to serve their time without going to jail. However, violating probation can have severe consequences, including jail time. It’s essential to consult with a legal representative to ensure you understand the terms of your probation. For assistance, call our law office today at 330-296-8000.

What Are the Standard Conditions of Probation in Ohio?

Probation conditions and rules can change depending on the county you are in and the circumstances of your case. However, there are some standard conditions that many counties use in Ohio.

Common conditions of probation require the individual to:

  • Hold a job
  • Obey all laws
  • Report to a probation officer as ordered
  • Pay court fees
  • Avoid illegal drugs
  • Complete community service hours
  • Keep away from the victim, if applicable

In federal court in Ohio, standard conditions vary depending on the region. Northern Ohio and Southern Ohio have slightly different standard conditions that offenders must follow. Violating any of these conditions can lead to probation being revoked and penalties like fines or jail time.

What’s the Difference Between Supervised and Unsupervised Probation?

If an individual is required to report to a probation officer, they are under supervised probation. If they are not required to check in with a probation officer, their probation is unsupervised. Typically, offenders prefer unsupervised probation. Unfortunately, in felony cases, unsupervised probation is rarely granted.

A judge will consider many factors when issuing supervised or unsupervised probation. These factors can include:

  • The individual’s support system
  • The individual’s criminal history or lack thereof
  • The type and severity of the crime
  • Whether the individual has a job or is in school
  • The defendant’s statements in court
  • Any relevant remarks made by the victim, if applicable
  • Sentence suggested by the prosecutor

What Are Common Types of Probation Violations?

When an individual fails to meet a condition of their probation, it’s called a violation. Violations can happen for many reasons, but there are a few common ways offenders often violate probation.

These probation violations include:

  • Failing to pay fines or restitution
  • Missing a check-in with a probation officer
  • Leaving the state without permission
  • Not complying with community service requirements
  • Failing a drug test
  • Facing new criminal charges for a different crime committed

Criminal violations, or committing a criminal act, are more severe than technical ones. However, there are penalties for all probation violations, even minor or accidental ones.

What Are the Penalties for Felony Probation Violations?

Under felony probation, if an individual violates their probation for a felony of the fifth degree and the judge decides to sentence them for it, the maximum sentence is 90 days in jail. However, if the remaining probation sentence is less than 90 days, the jail sentence will not exceed that length.

If an offender violates probation for a non-violent and non-sexual felony of the fourth degree, the maximum sentence is 180 days in jail. The judge will decide whether or not they would like to sentence the offender. If the remaining probation sentence is less than 180 days, the jail sentence will not exceed that length.

Multiple probation violations can result in multiple jail terms. Eventually, a judge may decide to revoke probation altogether. It’s essential to understand the terms of your probation to avoid violations.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

If you are currently under probation, understanding all the applicable rules and regulations can be confusing. Unfortunately, violating probation can lead to jail time and other penalties that cost you time and money. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to avoid violations and stay on track to completing your probation sentence.

If you have questions about your probation or are fighting a violation, don’t hesitate to contact Weisenburger Law Offices, LLC today. Call us at 330-296-8000 to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

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