Interviewer: Are there different levels of probation?
Court Probation Is the Least Restrictive Probation
Court Koehler: There are two basic levels. There’s the court probation and then there’s supervised probation. Court probation is the lowest level of probation, and really it doesn’t introduce any additional restrictions on the defendant. Usually what happens when a judge orders probation, he will suspend your sentence. For instance, if you had a DUI, they sentence you, technically to, something like 180 days in jail, but they suspend all 180 days of that so you don’t have to actually go to jail. Then, they give you probation.
If you violate the probation, then the judge has the power to impose those 180 days of jail. Court supervised probation just means absolutely, do not get in trouble, but if you do get in trouble it’s going to be really serious trouble. You’re going to end up having some jail time or additional fines imposed. Court probation is a lower level.
There Are Conditions Imposed with Supervised Probation
Then, up from that you have supervised probation. Supervised probation means that you have a probation officer that you will report to. Depending on the level of your crime and what the judge says, there can be different conditions. For instance, if it’s probation for drug use, then they will have some drug treatment that you’re supposed to do, and they will also make you undergo random drug tests or period drug tests of some sort, as a condition of your probation.
Supervised Probation Entails a Cost to the Probationer
You have to check in with your probation officer every so often. Then, the other issue about supervised probation is that it costs money, which is usually a hardship to clients that have to undergo supervised probation. You have to pay a monthly fee for that, as well.
There are those two basic levels and then within supervised probation it can be fairly strict if it’s a serious crime, if the judge wants additional conditions he can impose whatever he deems suitable.
Interviewer: How much are those fees?
Court Koehler: Yeah. It’s pretty expensive. You know, that’s a relative term, but it’s usually going to run between $80 and $140 a month.