Hammer, Gavel and Scales of Justice

Top 15 Do’s and Dont’s While on Probation

When the court sentences you to probation, don’t assume that this is the end of your criminal case. Your criminal case remains open during your probation to ensure that you comply with each of the conditions and terms of probation. One small mistake during probation could result in a probation violation charge. While your Arizona criminal defense attorney may be able to fight an allegation of a violation, you don’t want to put yourself in that position.

Therefore, your Arizona criminal defense lawyer will review the terms and conditions of your probation very carefully with you to help you understand your responsibilities. Your attorney may give you specific instructions about your probation that can help you avoid problems while on probation. Below are 15 tips that will also help you survive probation and put this incident behind you.

Tips That Can Help You Avoid Probation Violations

  • DO keep in close contact with your criminal defense attorney and notify your attorney immediately of any issues or problems.
  • DO come to court each time you are instructed to appear. Failing to appear in court is a violation of your probation and may result in jail time.
  • DON’T use drugs or alcohol, especially if the judge specifically ordered you to avoid consuming alcohol. You need to appear for every drug and alcohol test scheduled by the court or your probation officer.
  • DO keep your probation officer advised of any changes in employment.
  • DON’T change your residence or leave the state without written permission from the court or your probation officer.
  • DON’T miss appointments with your probation officer. If you need to reschedule for work or a doctor’s appointment, contact your probation officer as far in advance as possible to request permission to reschedule the appointment.
  • DO stay away from places and persons that could be involved in illegal activities. Don’t commit any crimes.
  • DON’T miss curfew if you are under a curfew as a condition of your probation.
  • DO keep your vehicle in good repair. You don’t want your vehicle to break down when you need to be in court or at the probation office. Also, you want to avoid interaction with law enforcement, if possible. This includes traffic stops for broken headlights, missing side mirrors, etc.
  • DO complete all conditions of your probation, including paying fines and fees, paying restitution, attending counseling, completing alcohol/drug addiction programs, community service, etc.
  • DON’T tamper with or attempt to remove personal monitoring devices or ignition interlock devices.
  • DON’T possess a firearm or any illegal drugs or substances.
  • DO maintain a positive relationship with your probation officer. It can make your time on probation much easier.
  • DO use a calendar and other tools that will remind you when to be in court, at the probation office, community service, drug tests, and classes on time.
  • DON’T assume that one act of leniency by your probation officer is permission to violate the terms of your probation. Even if your probation officer is not strict, you must comply with all terms of probation to avoid receiving harsher penalties.

Contact Your Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney with Questions

If you have questions or concerns about probation, ask your attorney for clarity so that you do not make a mistake that may result in a revocation of probation. Also, if you are accused or charged with probation violation, call your Arizona criminal defense lawyer immediately.  Call us today to arrange a free legal consultation with one of our skilled Phoenix criminal defense attorneys.