This is the first post in our series on how Arkansas probationers can defend against violations of their supervision. We have previously discussed defending against the revocation of probation as part of a longer discussion regarding what to expect while under supervision. In this series we will expand on those issues and discuss the following:
- Common ways people violate their probation conditions
- Negotiations and efforts towards reinstatement of probation
- Attending a hearing regarding the revocation of probation
Convicted felons who are not sentenced to prison may be sentenced to serve formal probation through Arkansas Community Correction (ACC). Probationers should be aware that ACC maintains a website wherein they publish names of probationers who have “walked-off” (stopped reporting) asking the public for help locating those probationers.
There are several things to understand about probation, including:
- You must report immediately after your release from jail or upon entering a guilty plea
- You are subject to search and seizure conditions; police may search your home, car, or person without probable cause or a warrant
- Jail time, work release or community service can be conditions of probation
- You can violate probation without picking up a new charge; failure to follow internal conditions can also be violations
- Probation is in lieu of prison; violations of probation can lead to a prison sentence
- Some types of probation require that you wear a GPS device or an alcohol measuring device around your ankle
- For some offenses, you may be prohibited from consuming alcohol
- For some offenses you may be required to register as a sex offender; this is a lifetime requirement for adults
- You may be required to complete drug or alcohol treatment or other classes
- You may be required to submit to regular drug tests
- You may be required to show proof of employment
- You may be required to obey a protective order
- Court fines, fees and costs of probation also apply
Misdemeanants may have many of the same conditions without the supervision. Violations of misdemeanor probation can lead to additional jail time so be sure to take your probation seriously. Just because you do not have a probation officer does not mean that there are no consequences to failing to perform your duties. Keep in mind that any probationary grant is not final. If you are on probation you have not “taken care of” your case, you still have affirmative duties and can face additional consequences for failure to comply.
Contact our Little Rock criminal defense attorneys if you or a loved one is on probation and facing revocation proceedings, requesting early termination, or requires modification of probation terms and conditions. We also handle matters in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.