The purpose of probation is to provide offenders an opportunity to serve their sentence in lieu of, or in addition to, incarceration. Probation allows an offender to reside at home and lead a relatively normal existence including holding a job, taking part in recreation, or even being a parent – activities that are limited, if not impossible, during periods of incarceration.
Although many argue that probation is probation, the terms of the probation and the consequences for violating probation can vary depending on whether it is a felony or misdemeanor case and whether there are aggravated charges.
Different rules may result in a probationary period of one to three years for a misdemeanor or up to five years for felonies. Felony probation may require formal meetings with a probation officer who will keep track of where an offender is living and working whereas a misdemeanor probation may be less formal with periodic or no schedule meetings with a PO provided an offender avoids violations of law.
Violations of Probation
Beyond checking in with a PO, conditions can include required attendance at Narcotics or Alcoholic Anonymous meetings for offenders charged with drug or alcohol related crimes or taking a requirement to take periodic drug tests. Felons may be required to submit to searches of their residence for illegal activities such as drug possession or weapons and abide by a curfew. A tall order by any measure with any violations of the probation conditions resulting in the revocation or extensions to the probationary period and fines.
Early Termination of Probation Period
Fortunately, what some refer to as “time off for good behavior” can apply to probation. It is possible to seek a reduction of probation time after serving half of the period. Those who have successfully fulfilled all the conditions of probation, who have valid reasons for wanting an early release such as not being able to secure gainful employment while on probation or not being able to engage in necessary travel for work or personal emergencies, may apply. Demonstrating good conduct and reform to justify a request for early termination are key – an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help.
Benefits of Early Probation Termination
Besides the obvious benefit of early termination of probation – eliminating the risk of a probation violation that could land you in jail – an offender may be able to secure employment, apply for expungement, restore gun rights, or have their name removed from various registries related to their crime depending on the circumstances of their case. If you or a family member have questions regarding early termination of probation or if you have violated your probation and need help, contact the Waukesha criminal defense lawyers of Andrew C Ladd for immediate assistance today at 262-542-3900.