What is Felony Probation?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 10 December 2018
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Probation is a sentence that a convicted criminal may be given instead of, or in addition to, time in jail. While a criminal is on probation, he is allowed to live in the community, but must report to a probation officer who keeps track of him and notes how he's doing with the terms of his probation. If a criminal violates the terms of his probation, he may end up back in jail. Felony probation is the type of probation given when a person has been convicted of a felony, which is a serious type of crime.

There are a couple of different ways that felony probation can be handled. For example, if a person is convicted of committing a felony, a judge could sentence him to jail time but may decide to place him on probation instead. In other cases, a judge may require a criminal to spend a certain amount of time in jail but allow him to serve the rest of his sentence on probation. If a person would normally be given two years in prison, for example, a judge could have him spend 18 months in prison but allow the last six months to be spent on probation.


In most cases, the probationer is faced with a number of restrictions. First, he may be required to have frequent contact with his probation officer, and regular formal meetings may be mandatory. The probation officer may be required to verify the felon's residence and his place of employment. He may also need to know whom the felon is living with and when he is scheduled to work. In most cases, travel is restricted as well; felony probation typically prohibits travel out of the state, except when it is approved by a probation officer.

Often, this type of probation lasts for about three to five years, though the length of the term may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This is a longer period of time than is normally sentenced for someone guilty of a misdemeanor and, in many cases, misdemeanor probation lasts for about one to three years. Likewise, the terms of the probation may be stricter when someone has been convicted of a felony.

A person who is on felony probation is usually required to maintain a very clean existence. Since probation is a criminal sentence, he is still under the supervision of the criminal justice system. If he breaks the law, he is likely to be sent back to jail.


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Post 3

Yes, everything people are saying above is true, but some people are put on probation because they favor the women instead of the man and even if there is no evidence they still punish the man. You would think that after the girl does this to other men, you would think that they would be like, hey, maybe she is doing this because they rejected her and don't like it so they do something about it and lie under oath.

Also, when the man passes a lie detector test, it proves that he is innocent. But they favor the women so the men are getting punished because they took the word of the women. So men have to be scarred

for the rest of his life because of some girl.

Some of the people that they put on probation are innocent and behave and try to be good and try to do what they ask of them and they get in trouble for it. For instance, my boyfriend just got arrested because he was working out of state but that's what they wanted him to do -- get a job and just because it's out of state because the state we are in is harder get jobs than a different state, he gets punished and arrested for it.

But when he talked to his probation officer, they told him they were not violating him to his face and they violated him anyway. It's just not right. This society we live in is not fair.

Post 2

Probation officers must have one of the worst jobs in the world. Almost everyone they have to work with will dislike them, or at least treat them defensively. Some of these people, or even most of them are known to be violent. And it would be a constant scramble to make sure they are behaving themselves.

I guess they must get paid a lot, or really enjoy helping people to better themselves, because it is a job I would not volunteer for in a million years. I have a lot of respect for anyone who does it well though.

Post 1

I had no idea probation could last so long. Not that I think it is a bad thing! I guess this is somewhat similar to house arrest which is being used more and more often now. I think partly because of crimes where the court doesn't really want to harshly punish the person (rightly or wrongly, and sometimes the person happens to be a celebrity) but can't have them wandering around the streets as though they never committed a crime.

And I think also because the prisons are so full. Consider how much cheaper it is to produce a single gps collar and maybe provide a stipend so they can feed themselves without a job, than to actually house and feed and guard a prisoner for years.

It seems like by far the better option for petty criminals.

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