Some states allow for unsupervised probation. Who is eligible?

Who is eligible for unsupervised probation depends on state law. A few states allow unsupervised probation for misdemeanor infractions. Other offenders eligible for unsupervised probation include those whose class of crime, prior record, or conviction level authorize community punishment as a sentence. If you have more questions about unsupervised probation and eligibility, use our free legal tool below.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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The conditions of probation, including the supervision level in the community, are based generally on standards and guidelines connected to the nature and severity of the offense. Supervised probation is the most common form. Offenders have to report to a probation officer and follow certain rules. You may even have to undergo regular drug tests or complete a certain number of hours of community service. Unsupervised probation may still require you to show up to certain things, but you won’t have to report in regularly.

A criminal defense lawyer can make the case for their clients. It can be part of your plea bargain under the right circumstances. It will require you to be honest with your attorney. They can only prepare your best defense when they know all the facts.

Who is allowed unsupervised probation?

A few states allow unsupervised probation. Typically, it applies to misdemeanor infractions and offenders whose class of offense, prior record or conviction level authorize community punishment as a sentence. It typically does not involve jail time, though this is not out of the question. It depends partly on the judge and case.

The courts may sentence such offenders to a maximum of a certain number of years of unsupervised probation. Any reduction, termination, continuation, or revocation rests with the sentencing judge, not a probation officer. Of course, if you are caught violating the terms of your probation, your punishment could be changed.  Supervised probation is just one of the things that could happen to you.

If you’re charged with a felony or violent crime, this is unlikely.

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What Does Unsupervised Probation Look Like for an Offender?

Have you ever been to traffic court? After you complete the class, the state might give you a probationary period of 6-12 months during which you can’t get any other traffic tickets. This is generally how it works. Your defense attorney can explain the particulars. But a probation officer will check your record to make sure you haven’t committed any other offenses after a set period. If you complete this process, you’re cleared to move on without further punishment.

Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, always let a lawyer weigh in. Even if it seems straightforward, you could end up with a harsher punishment or permanent record doing it on your own.

While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s not the court’s responsibility to explain to you how to avoid future problems. For more help, find a lawyer in your area today.

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