Not all drivers who break the law end up in prison. Those who commit misdemeanors could be released upon completion of community service tasks or after they have finished attending special classes that the court has selected for them. Many are also placed under probation, which is a kind of criminal sentence that is different from imprisonment.
What is Probation?
An individual under probation can be afforded provisional freedom if he meticulously follows his probation conditions and if he behaves well. Therefore, a person convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can avoid spending time in prison as long as he satisfactorily fulfills the requirements of his probation. Violation of probation conditions could mean jail time for the offender.
The Probation Officer
A probation officer supervises people who are placed under probation by law. A person must register with the probation office. However, first-time offenders who commit minor violations may not be required to register. Still, they have to finish the probation period, which is set for a specific length of time. In addition, concerned individuals must keep in touch with their probation officer. Some are required to report every day, while others only need to do this once a week or once a month. The probation officer can also conduct random breath or drug tests.
3 Common Probation Requirements
There are many kinds of probation conditions, and some will be discussed below.
– Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
The ignition interlock device, also known as a deep lung air device, is a gadget that can measure that amount of alcohol in a person’s breath. If a person’s car is equipped with such, he must first blow into the instrument. If it detects alcohol in the individual’s breath, it locks the vehicle and the person won’t be able to start it. There are also certain conditions as regards the use of such gadgets. For instance, it is mandatory for repeat offenders to blow into the device every 15 or 20 minutes while driving.
– Alcohol Avoidance
Those under probation are also required to avoid all types of alcoholic beverages, including other substances that may contain alcohol, such as cough syrups. In some cases, a judge can also ban a person from all establishments or events where alcohol may be served. This includes bars or restaurants. Sometimes, the court could also ban a person from sports events because some teams serve alcohol during games. Judges can also ask an individual to remove from his home everything that may contain alcohol, including mouthwash and vanilla extract.
– Having an Electronic Monitoring Device
An electronic monitoring device, which is typically as small as a pager, is usually attached to a person’s ankle. This is programmed to recognize the whereabouts of an individual. Some will allow a person to get out of his house during certain times. However, if he is not at home at a specified time, the device will alert the probation officer, and this violation can cause the revocation of his probation.
Claire Taylor is a full-time freelancer who regularly blogs about crime and personal injury issues. Some of the work that she’s done have been featured in various legal websites, and some law firms, like Tad Nelson & Associates, have also used her write-ups.
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