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Understanding Probation in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin criminal defense attorney, Wisconsin defense lawyer, criminal sentencingThe criminal law has a wide variety of different punishments it can impose for crimes. The ones that people think of most commonly are probably jail sentences and fines. However, these are not the only options. Another common option is criminal probation. Probation is a period of court-authorized supervision of the offender by the Department of Corrections. A person can be placed on probation for a variety of reasons For instance, some courts may choose to put a person on probation instead of sentencing them to prison. Other courts may hand down a prison sentence, but hold off on it to see if the person can successfully complete a period of probation.

Probation Basics

At its heart, probation is about supervision. A person on probation is still free. They can live at home, and keep their job. However, they will be subject to a variety of rules. One of the overarching rules is the need to meet with a probation agent, who supervises the person's probation. The frequency of the visits will depend on the specific case, and the location may change as well. These sorts of meetings may take place in the agent's office, at a person's work or school, or even at their home. However, this is not the only rule. People on probation will also likely be required to refrain from using controlled substances and avoid getting charged with another crime. The court may also set specific conditions of probation based on the crime in question. For instance, a person may need to attend drug and alcohol treatment programs, or make restitution to the crime's victim. These rules are important, and violations of them can result in a person being placed on a probation hold, which can have serious consequences.

Probation Holds

If a person violates a condition of their probation, then they may be placed on a probation hold, which means that they will be taken to jail and held there. This is especially problematic because unlike normal criminal charges, people held on suspicion of violating their probation may not be given the opportunity to post bond. This means that they will likely be stuck in jail until the matter is resolved. That resolution can come in one of three ways. First, a person can be released, which usually happens only in the event of a mistake or a very minor violation. Second, the person could be given an alternative to revocation. These are a variety of sanctions imposed by the court, and could be anything from a short stay in jail to anger management counseling. Finally, the probation may be revoked, which would result in a re-sentencing for the original crime.

Criminal charges can involve a variety of complex procedure. If you are facing such charges, contact an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney today to better understand your rights.

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