Probation can be part of or the whole of a sentence after someone is found guilty of a criminal offence. Probation or a probation order, as it is sometimes called, requires the person to follow conditions imposed by the sentencing judge.
If you are facing a sentence which might involve probation, you should contact Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey immediately to speak to one of our lawyers about your options.
HOW LONG CAN I BE PUT ON PROBATION FOR?
The length of a probation order is set by the sentencing judge. However, the maximum length someone can be put on probation for is three years. If a jail sentence is imposed at the same time that a probation order is made, then the probation starts when the jail sentence ends.
WHAT CONDITIONS WILL I BE ON IF I GET PROBATION?
There are certain mandatory conditions on a probation order. This means that every probation order includes the following conditions:
- Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
- Appear before the court when required to do so; and
- Advise the appropriate person in advance of changes of your name, address, employment or occupation.
After that, there are many different conditions that can be imposed. Usually these conditions are specifically selected to deal with the individual circumstances of the person being sentenced. The only limit is that the conditions are reasonable to protect society and to help the person to fit back into the community. Common conditions include being ordered to:
- Report to a probation officer;
- Not to have any contact with certain people;
- Not to attend at certain places;
- To take treatment for drug or alcohol issues, anger management problems or psychiatric counselling;
- To complete community service;
- Not to consume drugs or alcohol; and
- Not to possess weapons.
CAN MY PROBATION ORDER BE CHANGED AFTER IT HAS BEEN IMPOSED?
Sometimes after a probation order has been imposed, some of the conditions can become very difficult or impossible to comply with. Thankfully, there is a limited ability to change one or more conditions of the probation order.
A person who wishes to change their probation can make a “probation variation application.” Unless otherwise ordered, an application is filed at courthouse where you were originally sentenced. You will then go back in front of the original judge to ask them to change the condition that is becoming difficult or impossible to comply with.
Changing probation conditions is an involved court application. If you are considering asking for you probation order to be changed, you should contact one of the lawyers at Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey to discuss your options.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I BREAK ONE OF MY PROBATION CONDITIONS?
If you are found guilty of breaching the conditions of your probation order, you will be sentenced by a judge. Sentences include monetary fines, more probation or jail time.
In some circumstances, you might also be required to appear in front of the original judge for them to consider replacing with probation order with another form of sentence. This is only possible if your original sentence was a suspended sentence with probation.
If you are facing charges of breaching your probation, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
HIRING A LAWYER
Being charged with a criminal offence is serious. Not only are the repercussions life changing and long term, but if you are found guilty of committing an offence the effects can negatively impact your family, career, and future. If you are currently facing criminal charges, it is imperative that you hire a lawyer who understands the various procedural decisions to help protect your future, including sentencing options like probation. At Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey our lawyers are recognized for their ability to build solid defenses, conduct thorough investigations, and provide expert advice. Contact our office today for a free consultation.