What is Probation?

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime, your criminal defense attorney can ask the judge to “suspend” your sentence and grant probation. This allows you to stay home instead of serving time in jail or prison.

Probation gives you the opportunity to complete your sentence out of custody under what is known as “conditional release.” You are typically placed on probation for three to five years. If you successfully complete your probation, you may be able to have your guilty plea set aside.

Two Types of Probation

Felony probation is also known as “formal probation” or “supervised probation.” This type of probation is for those with a felony conviction. You must check in with your assigned probation officer frequently.

Misdemeanor probation is also known as “informal probation.” This type of probation does not require you to be supervised by a probation officer.

Can probation restrict traveling?

One of the most common requirements for probation is a traveling restriction. You are not allowed to leave your county while on probation. You will have to get the probation officer’s prior approval before leaving. 

Leaving the county, for whatever reason, without a travel permit can violate probation. An arrest warrant can be issued. Probation can then be revoked and the defendant sent to jail.

This travel restriction also applies to moving. People on probation cannot change their residence without notifying their probation officer. You will also need the officer’s prior approval if the move would take you to another county.

Violating Travel Restrictions Can Revoke Probation

If the District Attorney’s office learns that you violated your travel restrictions, they can file a motion to revoke your probation. The court reviews your probation for a violation and can issue a warrant for your arrest. After your arrest, you can be held in the county jail until the revocation hearing.

The prosecutor only has to prove with some evidence that a probation violation happened. This is a low burden of proof. You can have a lawyer at this hearing. If the judge decides that there was no violation, you are released and probation continues as originally given.

If the judge decides that there was a violation, they can either set tighter probation restrictions or send the defendant to jail.

Revocation of probation can be harsh, especially if the sentence came from a deferred adjudication. In these cases, a jail sentence is deferred until probation is completed. If the defendant’s probation is revoked, they usually get sent to jail. Their probation time doesn’t count towards the jail sentence.

Contact Delta Bail Bonds

If you find yourself or a loved one being arrested, make sure you contact our bail bond office as quickly as possible. Delta Bail Bonds is available 24/7 to bail you out when you need it. You do not have to wait until business hours to call us. Our experienced bail bondsmen are dedicated to getting you out of jail and back to your life as soon as possible after an arrest. If you’re unable to contact us yourself, call a friend or relative and ask them to do it for you.

Traveling on Misdemeanor Probation vs Felony Probation

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