Probation is often a much better alternative to being in jail. You can carry on leading a fairly normal life with little interruption all while still paying penance for the crime committed. But probation is a privilege and definitely not a right. It comes with a variety of rules and regulations that must be adhered to in order to sustain. While some of the rules may be obvious, others may be less so – you could be violating probation without even realizing it. Below are some of the common ways people violate their probation without realizing it:
A general rule of thumb is that your parole officer needs to know about most major movements in your life. In some cases, someone on probation can’t even leave their county, let alone move into a new home. If you are moving, even if it’s in the same town, you should alert your parole officer about the change of address and of course, make sure the move is allowed in your specific situations.
This is a big one, especially around the holidays. In most cases, you can’t travel if you’re on probation. Many find themselves in a situation where the must visit family for one reason or another. Many times, they’ll fail to notify their parole officer and land themselves in a heap of trouble for violating their probation. Communication is vital to making probation work.
Being in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time
While probation can’t dictate which friends you should and should not have, some probation sentences forbid a person from associating with people who have an extensive criminal history. This is a clause that is worth looking into as it can cause a very unnecessary violation.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Many on probation are shocked to learn that they could be violating probation if carrying a controlled substance that’s been prescribed. If you take narcotics or any controlled substance and you have a prescription, keep that prescription current and within reach at all times. If you are tested for drugs and one of your prescriptions sets off a red flag, you need to be ready to prove that it’s okay for you to be taking the drug.
An Ill-Timed Social Media Post
We live in a time where everything we do is posted online for everyone to see. When you’re on probation that may not be such a great idea. Anything you post publicly, even that old photo of you drinking in a club, could be seen by anyone – including your parole officer. Abide by your probation rules and for extra safety, mind what you post, or even what others post and tag you in, very carefully.
Most people who are put on probation know what a privilege it is. They want to keep up with the rules that will ultimately lead them to full freedom. While most rules are clearly outlined, it’s the little things that tend to get people in trouble.
If you or someone you know has violated probation without realizing it, you need help from a professional, experienced attorney right away. Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. offers experienced lawyers who can help you if you’re facing a possible probation violation. Contact us today for your free initial consultation! From offices in Edison, Brick and Freehold, we represent probation cases throughout New Jersey.