What Are the Rules of Unsupervised Probation in Utah?

Convicted criminal defendants may avoid incarceration if they are sentenced to probation. Probation comes with various conditions that are uniquely tailored to the defendant’s case, including conditions of supervision.

Probation in Utah is when the court decides not to send a defendant to prison but instead allows them to serve their sentence from home while abiding by specific conditions. Generally, defendants can expect to be supervised by probation officers regularly, but this is not always the case. Unsupervised probation is when the defendant promises to abide by the probation terms set by the court, and there are relatively few check-ins. Usually, lesser offenses, including some misdemeanors, are eligible for unsupervised probation, but defendants convicted of felonies are almost always supervised. If you have been sentenced to unsupervised probation, you should still follow all requirements imposed by the court, even if no one is there to check on you.

If you have an upcoming criminal trial, our Utah probation lawyers can help you argue in favor of unsupervised probation if you are convicted. For a free case evaluation, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.

The Difference Between Supervised and Unsupervised Probation in Utah

Supervised and unsupervised probation are somewhat similar, but there are a few important differences to note. Unsupervised probation is not as heavily monitored by law enforcement or the courts as supervised probation. For the most part, the court determines which probation terms and conditions to impose, and the defendant must promise to abide by these requirements. After that, the defendant is released to serve their probation with only some monitoring by the court.

This does not mean that there are no rules or that unsupervised defendants will not be punished for probation violations. However, certain violations might go undetected, at least for a while, because no probation officer is regularly checking in.

Getting unsupervised probation is often preferred by defendants because it is one of the least restrictive forms of sentencing. Unsupervised probation is not granted automatically, and courts sometimes hesitate to let convicted defendants go with little to no strings attached. Our Utah criminal defense attorneys can advocate for unsupervised probation and stand up for your rights at sentencing.

How Unsupervised Probation Works in Utah

Unsupervised probation works very similarly to supervised probation. The court will assess the severity of the offense and any needs of the defendant and impose certain conditions accordingly. The exact terms of your unsupervised probation depend on the circumstances of your case, so you should speak with our Utah probation attorneys about what you can expect.

The terms and conditions of unsupervised probation tend to be somewhat lighter than those for supervised probation. Defendants with serious needs like drug and alcohol dependency or who committed more severe crimes are less likely to be sentenced to unsupervised probation. Their probation needs might be more intense and require supervision.

No probation officer is assigned to you if you are sentenced to unsupervised probation. Probation officers are the primary person who monitors and supervises probationers. Usually, they check in weekly or monthly, and they can make unscheduled surprise check-ins too.

Instead, the court monitors your progress. Unsupervised probationers often have to check in with the court in monthly hearings and update the court on how they are handling their probation requirements. If a defendant is not meeting certain benchmarks or has not completed certain requirements, the court may impose penalties or extend probation.

What Offenses Qualify for Unsupervised Probation in Utah?

As mentioned earlier, people convicted of more severe crimes are less likely to be sentenced to unsupervised probation. For the most part, unsupervised probation is reserved for defendants convicted of misdemeanors and lesser offenses. Defendants convicted of felonies are unlikely to be sentenced to unsupervised probation.

Misdemeanors are less severe offenses that are usually punishable by no more than a year in jail. In some cases, a defendant might only face a maximum penalty of a few months in jail if convicted of a misdemeanor. Defendants convicted of misdemeanors with clean criminal histories up to this point are likely to receive a probation sentence instead of incarceration.

Felonies are more severe offenses and may be punished by years in state prison. Particularly severe felonies may come with decades in prison or even a life sentence. Courts are sometimes hesitant to place defendants convicted of felonies on any form of probation.

Our West Valley City criminal defense lawyers can help you argue for an unsupervised probation term if your charges are misdemeanors and you are not facing any felonies. Remember, probation is not guaranteed, and the judge can impose a jail term.

What to Do if You Are Sentenced to Unsupervised Probation in Utah

If you are currently serving an unsupervised probation sentence, there are several things you should do moving forward. First, make sure you know what your probation requirements are. You might have many different requirements to satisfy or only a few, but you must be aware of all of them to avoid accidentally committing a violation.

If you are unclear on some of the terms and conditions of your unsupervised probation, talk to a lawyer. Our Sandy criminal defense attorneys can review your probation requirements and help you understand what you must do moving forward. On unsupervised probation, there is no probation officer to check in with who can guide you on what to do next.

Second, you must complete any classes, programs, treatments, and any other requirements. Make sure these things are completed by their deadlines if a deadline is imposed. After several hearings to check on your progress, the court may take action if you have not completed any requirements. You could see your probation term extended, or you might be placed on supervised probation instead.

Call Our Utah Probation Attorneys About Your Case

If you are charged with a crime or facing sentencing after a conviction, our Park City criminal defense attorneys can help you advocate for an unsupervised probation sentence. Call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287 for a free case review.