Probation is an active jail sentence paused for a certain period of time. During that time, a judge orders you to do certain things and not do other things. As long as you do the things you’re ordered to do, and don’t do the things you’re ordered not to do, then at the end of the given period of time your probation ends and you never serve that active jail sentence.
There are two kinds of probation: supervised and unsupervised. Supervised probation means a probation officer will supervise you. You’ll have to call them, meet with them, and be home when they want to come visit. You may have to submit to drug tests and/or take whatever classes they decide you need (parenting classes, anger management classes, GED classes, etc…) You’ll also have to pay a monthly supervision fee. Unsupervised probation means you will not have a probation officer. There will be no office visits, drug tests, or phone calls. You will have to pay money, do whatever else the judge might order (drug/alcohol assessment, community service, etc) and stay out of trouble and when the time expires, you’re done.
“The defendant is sentenced to 30 days suspended for 18 months, supervised, on the following conditions: that she obtain a substance abuse assessment and follow all treatment recommendations; that she pay the costs of court, a $50 fine, and a $55 fee for the services of her attorney; and that she not use/possess/or consume alcohol or controlled substances.”
Want that in English? Here it is:
The judge just sent you to jail for 30 days. BUT! He paused that jail time for 18 months. In those 18 months, you have a list of things you must do and a list of things you must not do.
“Ten days suspended 12 months on the condition that the defendant pay the costs of court, a $50 fine, $55 for the services of her attorney, and perform 50 hours of community service in the first 120 days. The defendant may have delayed payment.”
Here’s what it means:
The judge just sent you to jail for 10 days. BUT! He paused it for a year and gave you a list of things to do and a list of things not to do.
If you’re not sure if you’ve been ordered to supervised or unsupervised probation, the delayed payment is a dead giveaway: delayed payment only comes with UNSUPERVISED probation, and it means that all the money you are ordered to pay will be added up, divided into a number of monthly payments, and you’ll pay the bill month by month. In Forsyth County, the room to sign up for that is on the third floor of the Forsyth County Courthouse.
Sounds easy, right? Well it is. Nonetheless, there are a million ways to violate your probation. For more on that, stay tuned for our next blog post: I Violated My Probation: Now What?
If you have questions about your probation or whether probation is a realistic or even the best option for you, contact Kerri for a FREE consultation at Payne Law, PLLC. She’s got you covered.