Be Careful if You Get Probation

I often think that probation is a prescription for failure. When charged and convicted of a crime, if you have no prior criminal record, you will generally be sentenced to probation
Then again, you have a choice. You can tell the judge that you would rather serve the time in jail rather than being under the jurisdiction of the court.

For instance, let’s say you are convicted for shoplifting or in legal terms, retail fraud. If this is your first offence, the judge can sentence you up to 93 days in jail or give you probation which will generally last for about 12 months. What this means is that you will be required to report to your probation officer once a month, be subject to alcohol and drug testing, told not to commit a another crime, pay probation oversight fees, and do several hours of community service And if you violate any of these conditions you will still face jail.

So, if you miss a drug or alcohol test or even if you are late by a minute or so, you could be violated. If you test positive for alcohol or drugs, you will be violated. And, if you oversleep and miss an appointment with your probation officer, you could be violated. And if you fail to keep up with payments to the Court for the probation oversight fees, you will be violated and be kept on probation until all the fees are paid.

Being on probation entails a lot of obligations. So, unless you are sure you can meet these obligations, it may be better to take the jail time.