In Minnesota, probation may be offered as an alternative to incarceration or as a condition of release from or in lieu of incarceration. Individuals who are sentenced to probation must adhere to strict guidelines regarding where they can go, what they can do, and who they can associate with.
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Supervised and Unsupervised Probation
Probation may be required for as little as a few months, or for as long as many years depending on the offense. Unsupervised probation is generally assigned for misdemeanor and many low-level felony offenses. Most unsupervised probation terms last less than 1 year and often require individuals to do little more than “stay out of trouble” until the probation period is over.
Supervised probation is much more restrictive and often follows a period of incarceration. These check-ins with a probation officer can be both scheduled and unscheduled. Individuals under supervised probation may be subjected to periodic searches, substance testing, etc.
When a Minneapolis felony lawyer secures probation, the client is responsible for court fees, probation fees, monitoring fees, and any restitution the court has assigned. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court may also require community service, drug/substance abuse counseling, or even anger management courses.
Common Probation Requirements
Electronic Monitoring – Commonly known as “ankle bracelets,” electronic monitoring devices ensure that you remain in your residence during the hours you are required to. Other electronic monitors can test for alcohol consumption and transmit your GPS location if a positive result is returned. Curfew violations and violations of conditions that prohibit alcohol consumption are considered serious probation violations.
Employment – Individuals can be compelled to seek and maintain lawful employment during their probation. While on probation for a low-level felony, individuals may be required to submit pay stubs and documentation establishing the fact that they are working or seeking employment.
Drug/Alcohol Testing – Drug and alcohol testing is common for DWI and other substance abuse violations. This testing is most often random and requires individuals to present themselves at a specified testing center within a short timeframe to provide a specimen for examination.
Violating Probation in Minnesota
Violating the terms of a probation agreement can result in immediate revocation of probation and the carrying out of the sentence the court recommended. Individuals who violate probation agreements will be required to serve the remainder of their sentence, minus the time successfully completed during probation. If the violation included committing a new crime, the individual may be convicted and sentenced separately for that offense.