In New Jersey, there are more than 70,000 adults and 13,000 juveniles currently being supervised by probation officers. Probation is a sentencing alternative that basically gives a person convicted of a crime the chance to serve their criminal sentence in the community.
Probation is meant to allow a person convicted of a crime to reintegrate into society. The idea is that certain criminal offenders should be able to go about their lives and support themselves and their families without first needing to be placed behind bars. However, an offender who is lucky enough to get probation and avoid being sentenced to prison is still at risk of going to prison if they fail to abide by the rules and requirements set forth by the judge. In New Jersey, these probation rules and requirements are very strict.
If you are placed on probation in New Jersey, here are a few things to expect:
- Probation supervision: A probation officer will supervise your probation and ensure that you don’t lapse during the probationary period. A single mistake could lead to the revocation of your probationary sentence and result in you serving the remainder of your sentence in prison.
- Fines: The court may impose monetary penalties, which can be very costly and which you will need to pay in a timely fashion in order to maintain your probationary status. New Jersey collects more than $20 million in fines annually from people on probation.
- Community service: The judge in your case may require you to perform community service. It is imperative that you fulfill all the requirements of your probation, including your community service obligations.
- Counseling: Depending on the circumstances of your case and the nature of your criminal offense, the court may order you to undergo counseling as part of your probation. This counseling may be for drug or alcohol abuse and addiction problems, domestic violence, mental health, or some other issue. You may also be required to submit to random drug testing.
What Happens When You Violate Probation in New Jersey?
Keep in mind that failure to follow the rules and requirements of probation could lead to the revocation of your probationary status, so it is imperative that you understand exactly what is expected of you during your probationary period.
When you violate probation in New Jersey, you should expect the judge to come down hard on you. Depending on the nature of your violation, the judge may decide to do any of the following:
- Revoke your probation and send you to prison.
- Extend your probationary period.
- Order you to pay a fine.
- Order you to undergo counseling.
Keep in mind that a violation of probation is considered a criminal offense. This means that you could be charged with another crime, which will go on your permanent record.
If you or a loved one has been charged with crime in New Jersey, you need to talk with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. We are dedicated to defending clients charged with criminal offenses. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.