Probation is a program that allows people that have pled guilty or have been found guilty of a criminal offense to spend a period of time under the supervision of a probation officer instead of being sentenced to a term of incarceration.
This supervision is designed to aid the defendant in addressing issues that has led him/her to be in the criminal justice system. The goal of the probation is to correct these issues thereby preventing the defendant from having future contact with a criminal justice agency.
Once you have pled guilty, or you have been found guilty of a criminal offense by a judge or jury, you will be referred to the probation department for a Pre- Sentence Interview. A Pre-Sentence Interview is a one - on - one interview with a probation officer who will gather information relating to the offense and background information on the defendant. This information will be used to prepare a Pre-Sentence Report with sentencing recommendations. The probation officer will then go over the probation order with the defendant and instruct the defendant on how to sign up for any program that he/she was ordered to attend.
The probation officer will then monitor the defendant for compliance with all the terms and conditions of probation. If the defendant fails to complete any part of the probation order, a Show Cause hearing will be set for violation of probation. At the Show Cause hearing the Judge will hear how and/or why the defendant is in violation of probation and give the defendant an opportunity for explanation. The Judge will then make a ruling on the violation. Possible sanctions for violating probation include extra days on the Court's work program up to and including incarceration.