When you commit a crime, the courts can decide on a punishment that suits what’s happened. If you’ve been able to get probation, it’s been determined that it’s safe for you to live in the community instead of going to jail. You may pay heavy fines or be under many rules and regulations, but you won’t have to go to prison or be in jail for an extended time.
It is possible to go to prison or jail if you violate your probation. There are normally terms that you will need to agree with, and if you violate those terms, you could be taken back to court and given a new sentence. For example, most people on probation need to check in with a probation officer at certain times. For some people, that might be every day, while others may only need to once in a while.
There are other terms you may have to meet as well. Some include avoiding certain people or places, obeying all laws including traffic laws, taking drug or alcohol tests, staying in state unless you have permission from your probationary officer, and paying fines or restitution on time. The kind of terms you have to meet will likely have to do with the kind of crime you’ve been convicted of. For example, if you were driving drunk, you may have to submit alcohol-related blood tests and stay out of a vehicle.
Our website has more information on probation and what to do if you violate it. Even in cases of violations, it may be possible to avoid going to jail or prison.