You were overjoyed when the judge said you would not go to jail for a misdemeanor, but your joy soon turned to panic when he handed down the terms of your probation. While you didn’t expect to get off scot-free, the community service hours you were given will take months to complete—and you have to get a job in addition to performing the unpaid work. How can you do everything the court requires and still have time to live your life?
What to Do While on Probation for a Misdemeanor in Virginia
More and more defendants who are convicted of non-violent crimes are placed on probation. Allowing a defendant to live at home and work during his sentence prevents prison overcrowding and places less strain on the state budget. However, probation does not mean you have been released from serving time. You will still be required to follow a set of rules handed down by a judge as punishment—and if you do not comply, your probation may be suspended and you could serve the original sentence in jail.
Defendants may be required to do the following while they are on probation:
- Complete community service. Community service, such as volunteering in a shelter or performing roadside cleanup, is often a part of probation. It is unpaid work, and you will need to have a supervisor sign off on the number of hours you complete each week.
- Meet with a probation officer. The court will assign you a probation officer who will meet with you on a regular basis. He or she will then report on your progress to the judge. If you miss a meeting with your probation officer, your probation may be suspended and you could serve jail time.
- Meet with other professionals. The judge may require you to get additional help as part of your probation, including getting psychiatric treatment or meeting with a drug or alcohol abuse counselor. You must do this if it has been ordered by the court as part of your sentence.
- Use a monitoring device. You may be asked to wear an ankle bracelet, have an ignition interlock device installed on your car, or use another form of electronic monitoring device.
If you need advice on your case, the legal team at the Easley Law Firm can help. Contact us today to find out how to petition the court to end your probation, or learn more about your options in our free guide, The Criminal Legal Process In Virginia.