If you were convicted of a crime but only received probation, you are very fortunate. Being placed on probation means the State of Utah believes the crime you committed should not be punished with a jail sentence. It also means that the state has an interest in helping you avoid future criminal acts. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the many requirements of being on probation in Utah. If you or a family member needs to know about Utah’s probation requirements, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City probation violation lawyer. Overson Law can help guide you through Utah’s probationary process. Darwin Overson is here to explain common probation requirements in Utah.
Utah’s Probation Program
An individual who was placed on probation, also known as a probationer, is a person who was convicted of a crime but was sentenced by Utah courts to be supervised. Probationers are subject to higher scrutiny than other members of the general public. This means that they must strictly adhere to their probation agreement, court orders, and state and federal laws if they want to complete their probationary period with no issues.
It is also important to note the difference between parole and probation. A parolee is an individual who was serving time in prison but was released before completing their sentence. A probationer may serve a portion of jail time, but usually, they are released back into society without needing to go to jail. However, probationers and parolees are both under the supervision of the state and held to a higher level of scrutiny than most citizens. Additionally, a parole violation may result in some of the same sanctions as a probation violation.
In Utah, probation is used as an alternative deterrent to criminal behavior instead of jail time. Probationers are provided access to educational and social services designed to help them avoid a life of crime. Additionally, substance abuse programs and victim/offender dialogue programs are available to help a probationer deal with behavior that could lead to criminal acts.
Common Utah Probation Conditions
When placed on probation, a person must follow standard probation conditions set out by Utah’s Department of Corrections (DOC). These conditions are designed to keep a probationer compliant with the terms of their probation agreement to avoid probation violation sanctions.
One standard probation condition that a probationer must deal with is compliance visits by an Adult Probation & Parole (AP&P) program officer. Under the terms of a Utah probation agreement, an AP&P officer can visit a probationer at their home, place of employment, or other locations the probationer may frequent. If the probationer takes deliberate actions to avoid these visits, he or she may violate their probation. For example, refusing to open the door for an AP&P officer could land you in serious trouble.
Another condition of probation is the inability to own dangerous weapons. If a probationer possesses weapons like firearms, crossbows, or explosives, they can receive a probation sanction.
Utah’s DOC can also administer drug tests to a probationer to ensure they remain compliant with the terms of the probation agreement. Possessing drugs or distributing drugs is also a violation of probation conditions. Using medicine with a proper prescription should not cause trouble with this requirement.
Probationers are also subject to searches by AP&P officers. The search can be conducted without a search warrant and can come at any time of the day or night the AP&P officer chooses. This means that your home, vehicle, property, and even person is subject to search if an AP&P officer reasonably suspects you are not complying with your probation.
Utah has an interest in rehabilitating offenders and keeping them away from situations that may lead to a violation of their probation. Therefore, probationers are not allowed to associate with individuals who are engaged in criminal activity or who have been convicted of a felony. This condition may be waived if a probationer asks for permission.
There are also other requirements not listed here that a probationer must follow to stay compliant with their probation agreement. If a probationer commits a violation of these terms, they can suffer consequences like:
- Having their probationary period increased,
- Receiving additional probation requirements, and
- Losing their right to probation and being incarcerated.
There are also special probation requirements you may have to complete under certain circumstances. For example, if you were convicted for a drug offense, you may have to attend a substance abuse program. If you fail to complete these program, it may affect the terms of your probation.
Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If You Violated Your Probation
If you or a family member committed an action that violated your probation, you should contact an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer. Darwin Overson has over 16 years of experience handling complex criminal law cases for residents of Utah. Darwin understands that a probation violation could impact your life immensely, and he is here to fight for you. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (801) 758-2287.