Will You Have to Install an Ignition Interlock Device While on Probation?

Interviewer: Are there any devices that they put on vehicles?

The Ignition Interlock Device Has Costs Associated with the Installation and Maintenance

Court Koehler: Yes, that is a common condition and you have to an ignition interlock device for a first time conviction for a DUI for 18 months, and this is actually even a bit worse than the probation. This is because it costs a little bit more than the probation.  You’ll have a monthly fee.  You have to pay to have the device installed on your car and then you have a monthly fee that’s usually somewhere around $100 a month and that’s on top of any probation costs that you would have, if you have supervised probation.

Some Individuals May Be Subject to Electronic Monitoring as Well While on Probation

Court Koehler:  Sometimes you are subject to ankle monitors or GPS monitors where you have a device attached to your foot that will tell a probation officer if you go somewhere you’re not supposed to go. For example, if you leave your house, or leave whatever area it is that you’re supposed to be confined to.  Again, you have to pay for it yourself, the costs can add up while you are on probation.

Your Attorney May Be Able to Negotiate with Prosecutor to Allow You to Enter a Diversion Program

Interviewer: Are there any second chance or diversion programs available?

Court Koehler: There are diversions. Typically that’s going to be something that your lawyer would work out with the prosecutor.  There’s not necessarily a program that’s followed, per se, but it’s something that, you know, sometimes your lawyer strike a deal with the prosecutor.

What a diversion is basically instead of convicting you of the crime, they just pretend that it never happened, which is great. It is honored as long as you follow the conditions of probation and pay a fine or seek treatment or whatever it is that the agreement says.  It’s a great thing to get when you can get it.  It’s not really common, but it is out there.

There Are Multiple Alternate Programs Where the Goal Is Rehabilitation Instead of Punishment

There are many types of different programs. There’s a DUI court program for people that have had more than two DUIs.  Then there’s a drug court program where they have different standards of probation and treatment for people that are repeat drug offenders, and the idea is to get those people rehabilitation rather than punishing them. The goal is to get them back on the right track so that they can improve their lives and move on and become better members of society.

There are programs for people that don’t have violent crime histories, but they have had some drug problems or some anger issues.  If it’s early on and they don’t have a lot of previous criminal history, there are usually some court programs in place that can help them out.

What Can Occur If You Unintentionally Miss an Appointment with Your Probation Officer?

Interviewer:  What is someone accidentally misses reporting over to their probation officer?

The Defense Attorney Will Work to Mitigate the Consequences

Court Koehler: Most of the time we can take care of that without any adverse consequences, just by communicating with the prosecutor and the probation officer.  That is a lot of what our job is, as criminal defense attorneys, to watch our client’s back and when something minor happens like that, make sure that it doesn’t become a bigger deal than it has to.

We kind of come to an agreement with the prosecutor not to ask for a certain sentence for the violation or to kind of agree this was a onetime mistake and it wasn’t that serious, so we’ll just go ahead and extend the probation farther or just go back on the regular probation schedule as if nothing happened. That situation is pretty common, especially when you have a violation that’s not very severe.

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