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Understanding Criminal Sentencing in Alabama and Probation

To be arrested and charged with a crime does not necessarily mean you must go to jail or prison. You must be convicted of the crime. But even when incarceration is a potential penalty for the crime you allegedly committed, there are alternatives. Probation is one such alternative. But getting probation depends on the charge, the facts, and the circumstances, as well as how persistent and resourceful your defense attorney is.

If you are facing criminal charges in Alabama, find a seasoned criminal defense attorney who understands what you are up against and will work with you to obtain the best outcome possible. Call Segal and Segal at (2560 533 4529 today, or fill out our online submission form to better understand the charges against you and how you can fight them. 

What Constitutes Probation in Huntsville and Madison County?

Probation in Alabama is a court order that allows an offender to serve their sentence in the community rather than in jail. Probation can be either under supervision or sometimes unsupervised. In exchange, the offender must comply with the conditions of the probation order. The court sets the specific conditions and length of the order, subject to any relevant laws.  

Probation is usually administered by probation officers who monitor and support offenders. The goal of probation is rehabilitation. For this reason, it's usually ordered for first-time or less serious offenses. 

Probation is different from parole. While parole also involves community supervision, it's granted by a parole board after an offender has served part of their jail sentence. Parole is a form of early release, whereas probation is part of the court's initial sentence.

How is Probation Ordered in Huntsville and Madison County?

A court can order probation in one of two ways. Firstly, it can give an offender probation instead of jail time. The court does this by sentencing the offender to a suspended period of imprisonment and probation. If the offender completes their probation, they won't have to serve any time in jail. 

Alternatively, a court can order an offender to be released on probation after serving some time in jail. This usually leads to a reduction in the amount of jail time an offender is required to serve.

General Conditions of Alabama Probation

The specific conditions of probation depend on the offense's nature and seriousness and the offender's personal circumstances. 

Under a probation order, a court may order an offender to:

  • Report regularly to a probation officer
  • Attend counseling or other rehabilitation programs
  • Appear at scheduled court hearings
  • Restrict their drug and alcohol use and participate in regular testing
  • Comply with a curfew
  • Complete community service
  • Pay a fine or restitution to a victim
  • Avoid certain people or places
  • Avoid further criminal acts
  • Remain in the state unless the probation officer has cleared travel outside the state
  • Wear a GPS monitor
  • Keep the probation officer updated on any changes to your name, address, or other contact information.

This is not an exhaustive list. Many options are available to a court when deciding the conditions of a probation order. 

Violations of Probation in Huntsville and Madison County

There can be serious consequences if an offender doesn't comply with the conditions of their probation. 

A probation officer may issue a formal warning for minor or first-time violations. But more serious breaches will require the offender to reappear before a judge, who can order further probation, revoke the probation order, or send them to jail or prison. 

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Alabama?

If you are at risk of being sentenced to probation, it's important to seek the assistance of an experienced Segal and Segal criminal defense lawyer. While probation may be preferable to jail, the conditions can be onerous, and probation orders can last for many years. A criminal defense lawyer can make submissions on your behalf to the court to help you get better conditions under a probation order. 

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Alabama Today

If you are accused of violating a probation order, you can face serious penalties and risk being sent to jail or prison. Here at Segal and Segal, we will represent and defend you against these allegations to help you continue serving your sentence in the community—call (256) 533 4529 today to schedule a consultation to learn more.