For many people charged with crimes, probation is a welcome relief from more serious sentencing options. Often it can be a substitute for incarceration, which is a victory for anyone fighting against criminal charges.
However, probation places significant limitations on your daily life. Terms for probation are often quite strict, limiting whom you can interact with, where you can go and how you live. You may have to meet with a probation officer regularly. You’ll probably be subject to drug testing. Conditions can also include maintaining a steady address and gainful employment. With probation terms as strict as these, even a simple mistake or oversight could be more costly than you think.
Probation violations are serious in Minnesota
Prison populations in Minnesota have been on the rise in recent years, even while crime rates are dropping. According to an investigation by the Star Tribune, a large number of these new prisoners are those who have violated the terms of their probation. Probation can last for between four years and forty years, often as long as the potential prison sentence for the crime. The average length is 66 months, which is over five years.
For many people, it’s easy to make a simple mistake during that five year period that results in a probation violation. Once your probation officer or the courts discover that violation, you could wind up remanded into state custody and subject to serving the sentence your probation was intended to replace.
Take any potential violation very seriously to protect your future
It’s hard enough moving on with life when you’re on probation and have a criminal record. Finding places to live and decent paying jobs can be nearly impossible. Avoiding people and situations that can result in a violation is even harder.
It’s even possible that your landlord or roommate decides to engage in criminal behavior, which can leave you at risk for a serious violation. When something happens that could leave you in violation of the terms of your probation, you need to take immediate action to protect yourself and your freedom.
Failing to quickly address and defend against claims of a probation violation could result in your spending a lot of time in prison. Don’t just hope that you’ll get another second chance or leniency from your court-appointed probation officer. Be proactive when worried about probation violations to help protect your future!