If I Was On Probation, Could I Travel On Vacation And Go Out Of State?
Yes. Keep an open line of communication; if you’re to travel, I would suggest that you report to your probation officer and tell them that you’re planning to travel, where it’s to and what it’s for. Most of them would authorize them and allow that to happen.
When Can Probation be a Positive Thing for My Case?
If you’re charged with a misdemeanor first time offense in municipal court, you’d want to track down every available option that can happen before you pled guilty or went to trial. There’s probably some sort of deferred prosecution arrangement that you can come up with, it’s going to be better than being on probation because at the end of it, your case will be dismissed and there’ll be no record of that conviction for you. For those cases, probation is not necessarily a good option right off the bat because there’s something better out there.
In any felony case, other than a simple drug possession type case, most of the time you have to operate under the assumption that if you’re found guilty or plead guilty to that, probation is a great opportunity. It’s better than going to prison but you’d want to hire an attorney and go through your case and let the legal system play out to make sure that you’re guilty. You’re needed to plead guilty to something like that and make sure that the prosecution has a strong enough case before you just accept an offer of probation. But in any kind of violent felony or serious felony offense, probation is a pretty good result when you’re facing down somewhere from a year to 10 years imprisonment and more.
What’s the Longest that Someone Could be on Probation?
The longest in Alabama is 5 years typically. The shortest is typically, a year is what the judge would order but sometimes after six months or so, we’ve had success going back and asking the judge to terminate their probation if they’ve done everything they’ve been asked to do.
Can the Court Modify the Conditions of the Probation so that Someone Has to Do Additional Things?
Yes, they can. They can switch it from supervised to unsupervised and they can switch it from unsupervised to supervised. If they got in trouble, they could extend the length of time that they have to be on probation so the judge has the ability to modify the terms of the probation.
Once I’m on Probation, Do I Need to Maintain Contact with My Attorney?
Not necessarily. Most of the time, if you’re trying to do that, you would probably have to be paying your attorney more money to consult with you about it, you don’t have to do that but you certainly want to maintain contact with your attorney if something goes wrong, if you miss an appointment of if you find out that the probation officer has filed a delinquency report on you for not reporting or not paying or if you pick up a new criminal charge, you certainly want to be in contact with your attorney.
How Often Should Someone Maintain Contact With an Attorney While on Probation?
They don’t need to stay in contact with an attorney necessarily. Once they’re on probation, there’s really not much the attorney needs to be involved with. Unless they miss an appointment or they get a new criminal charge, that’s the time that they need to call an attorney and ask for advice about it. There’s no sense in staying in touch with an attorney unless there’s a pre-planned agreement that they want to try to go back and have the terms of their probation reduced or eliminated or if they’re supposed to pay off a certain amount of money over time or do a drug treatment program or something of that nature. They want to stay in touch with their attorney to say, “Hey, I completed this. Now, will you petition the court to terminate my probation?”
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