Three things to know about probation violations

By placing you on probation, a judge allows you to serve your sentence outside the confines of jail. The details of your probation may differ, but all have the potential for additional penalties if a violation occurs.

The following tips can help you avoid the negative consequences, such as fines or jail time, that may result from violating probation.

1. Be punctual

You might have fees, such as restitution payment to the victim, or other court-ordered fines to pay. It is important to make these payments on time. In addition, you may have scheduled meetings with your probation officer. You must keep track of your appointments so that you go to the correct place at the proper time. Arriving promptly, or even early, is essential to successful completion of probation.

2. Seek assistance

Devices to help you with punctuality include a calendar and a watch with a timer. If you have a smart speaker, you can set it to give you reminders. You might also enlist the help of a responsible friend or family member to text or call you just before your appointment. As soon as you schedule your next meeting, be sure to record its time and date, either by writing it down or entering the information electronically.

3. Form a relationship

Your probation officer can make decisions that will significantly impact your future. It is in your interest to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the probation officer. You need to be upfront and inform him or her of any changes regarding your residence or your place of work. The terms of probation often include travel restrictions. If the need arises for you to travel, ask for permission. If you communicate regularly and show that you are seriously committed, the officer will be more likely to decide in your favor if you make a mistake and need a second chance.

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