What You Can and Can’t Do on Probation in Utah

Probation is a sentencing option in many Utah criminal cases. People on probation do not necessarily have to spend any time in jail or prison, but they must abide by strict rules and conditions.

Many probation sentences come with the same standard terms that apply in nearly all cases. Special terms may be applied depending on the unique circumstances of you case. Not only that, but the level of supervision may also vary based on the severity of the charges. If you violate the terms of your probation, you might get in trouble with your probation officer and be arrested again. At a subsequent hearing, your probation could be changed, revoked, or made longer.

If you have been sentenced to probation or are facing a potential probation term, our Utah probation lawyers can help you understand what you can and cannot do. For a free case review, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.

Possible Probation Terms in Utah

Various probation terms might apply in your case, and many are uniquely tailored to your case and needs. While some probation terms are standard and imposed in most cases, other terms are special and only applied as needed. Our Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyers can help you understand the terms of your probation so you understand what you can and cannot do.

Standard Terms

The standard probation terms, according to the Utah Department of Corrections, apply in most probation cases across the state. If you are sentenced to probation, you likely must abide by these terms. While some of these terms might seem obvious, others might be more surprising.

As part of the standard probation terms, probationers may be visited by probation officers at their homes or places of work to ensure there are no violations. These visits are not optional and cannot be refused. If a probation officer knocks on your door, you must let them in, no matter how inconvenient their visit might be. Probation officers may also search your home based only on reasonable suspicion.

Probation requires probationers to report back to their probation supervisors, usually a probation officer with the Department of Corrections. You must abide by all reporting requirements, including remaining at the residence the DOC has on record and in the State of Utah.

There is certain behavior or activities that you are required to avoid. You must abide by all federal, state, and municipal laws and avoid criminal behavior. You also cannot associate with any people you know to be engaged in criminal activity. You cannot possess or control any weapons, including firearms. You must stay clear of controlled substances, and you might be required to submit to chemical testing.

Some terms require you to do or comply with certain requirements. Generally, you must hold down a full-time job and notify your probation officer if your employment changes. Truthfulness is required, and any dealings with the authorities or your probation officer require honesty and candor. You have to submit a DNA sample to be added to the DNA database, which might be used later if you are ever suspected of a crime in the future. You also have to comply with whatever curfew is set by your probation officer.

Special Terms

In addition to the standard terms that apply in nearly all probation cases, special terms might apply if the court feels they are necessary. These terms and conditions are not imposed in every case and tend to be tailored to your needs and the nature of the charges.

Many special terms of probation focus on rehabilitation and recovery from alcohol and drug use. If you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense, like a DUI, the court can require you to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, education courses, and counseling. The same goes for drug-related offenses, and the court might require you to attend classes, courses, or treatment for controlled substances. On top of that, you may be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing to make sure you remain sober.

Some other unique requirements include remaining current on child support payments, performing community service, attending educational or vocational training, getting your GED, and taking any prescription medications you have (usually in cases of mental health concerns).

The court could also require you to issue a formal apology to victims and pay restitution. Failure to do so is considered a violation, and you might land in more trouble.

Many other possible special terms might apply depending on your situation. Contact our Murray criminal defense attorneys about how to comply with all the terms of your probation, so you avoid violations.

What Happens if You Violate Your Probation in Utah

When you fail to do something required as part of your probation or you do something you are required to avoid, you might be in trouble for violating your probation. When this happens, your probation officer might arrest you and arrange a hearing about the violation.

If you violate the terms of your probation, your probation officer may discuss the issue with you before taking you into custody. In some cases, violations are inadvertent or accidental, and probation officers might be understanding of the situation. If you accidentally violated the terms of your probation, contact our Orem criminal defense lawyers, and we can help you explain the situation so you hopefully avoid any further trouble.

If you are arrested for the violation, you may be brought before the court for a probation violation hearing. According to Utah Code § 77-18-108(3), the probation officer may submit an affidavit alleging the violation, and if the court finds probable cause to believe the violation occurred, it may issue a warrant for the probationer’s arrest and arrange a hearing. At the hearing, your probation can be revoked, modified, or even extended.

Call Our Utah Probation Attorneys for Help Today

If you are sentenced to probation, you must abide by the restrictions imposed by the court and perform any tasks or duties assigned to you. Our Park City criminal defense attorneys can help you if you are accused of a probation violation. For a free case review, call Overson & Bugden at (801) 758-2287.