How to Avoid Jail Time With Probation
If you have been arrested for a crime, you likely are worried about spending a long stretch of time behind bars. Wyoming courts often impose harsh punishments for minor offenses that can completely change your life. But if you are eligible for probation, you may be released early or not have to go to jail at all.
What Is Probation?
Probation is an alternative sentencing option that allows defendants to avoid serving the full term of a jail or prison sentence. A defendant may be offered probation instead of going to jail, or have to serve a minimum sentence before being released on probation. When released on probation, a defendant can go to work, sleep in his own bed, and spend time with friends and family.
However, it is not a “get out of jail free” card, and defendants still have to fulfill certain requirements, such as attending counseling and substance abuse treatment, under the “conditions of supervision.” Probation can last for several years, sometimes even longer than a jail sentence, but will allow you to keep your freedom.
Probation is overseen by the Wyoming Department of Corrections, which contracts with Adult Community Corrections, which handles cases in Casper, Cheyenne, and Gillette. These organizations provide case management, counseling, educational classes, job training, and group housing. Their goal is to help defendants transition back into their communities and avoid committing another crime.
Is Probation an Option in My Case?
Whether or not to offer you probation is a decision made by the judge when reviewing your sentencing, but your attorney can help convince a judge to consider it. If you are repentant for your crime, there were mitigating circumstances, or you were charged with a minor offense, then a judge is more likely to sentence you to probation rather than imprisonment.
Probation is not an option for defendants convicted of first-degree murder, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, or who still have a felony charge pending.
What Are the Rules of Probation?
When someone is released on probation, he is required to follow certain restrictions, which may include:
- Meet with a probation officer
- Attend counseling
- Avoid committing any additional crimes
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Attend substance abuse classes
- Pay court fines and restitution to victims
Probation can either be unsupervised or supervised. Unsupervised probation is less strict and more common with misdemeanor charges. Supervised probation, on the other hand, is typically for felonies and has extra restrictions, sometimes including house arrest, random searches without arrest warrants, and drug tests. The Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) is one type of supervised probation in Wyoming.
What Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., Can Do for You
Probation is only one type of alternative sentencing in Wyoming. The court may also consider programs such as Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp, which is available for defendants younger than 25 years old. Depending on the nature of your case, a Gillette criminal defense lawyer may be able to get you into one of these programs rather than having to go to jail or prison.
At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we are experienced Campbell County trial attorneys who thoroughly understand the local courts. We have successfully defended multiple clients in our community, fighting to get them reduced sentences or complete dismissals of charges. Let us fight for you. Call us at (307) 257-7800 to get a free case strategy session.
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