Being found guilty of a crime could lead to several outcomes. You might have to face hefty fines or prison time. But in some cases, the judge might consider sending you back into the community. Releasing the defendant back into the society with fewer rights than a normal person is called probation. Probation lets you stay out of prison, but there are still certain restrictions on you. The judge has the right to revoke your probation in case your behavior is not up to the required standard.
Probation is common for minor crimes and first time offenders. The state creates different statutes to deal with probation. But judges have been given the authority to grant probation without violating those statutes. Probation allows the defendant to be rehabilitated into the society, and makes sure they do not commit any further crimes.
After probation has been granted, a probation officer is made in charge of the defendant and monitors their activities. The officer visits the defendant on a regular basis. The officer must make sure the terms of probation are not being violated by the defendant. If terms are being violated, the officer might report it to the judge which could lead to the probation being revoked.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is advisable to contact a defense attorney. In some cases you could be offered a probation if you plead guilty to the crime. Always discuss the situation with your attorney before making any decisions. The attorney might be able to get you a better deal.