What is probation?

Published by Jessica Burke on

Probation is a type of supervision status for defendants after they have been convicted of a crime. It may be imposed at sentencing. Sentencing is the last phase of the Vermont criminal process and occurs after you have been convicted by a jury or pled guilty to criminal charges.

If you are on probation then you are not serving a jail sentence. A jail sentence has been suspended (in other words, put on hold) that you will never have to serve unless you violate the terms of your probation. Vermont Probation is a lower level of supervision than furlough. It typically requires meeting with your probation as directed and abiding by the conditions of probation imposed on you by the Vermont criminal court at your sentencing.

If you violate the terms of your probation then a violation of probation (“VOP”) will be filed with the criminal division of the Vermont Superior Court. You will be given a date to appear before the judge to enter an admission or a denial to the alleged violation of probation. If you deny the allegation a merits hearing will be set. At a probation violation merits hearing the State prosecutor will put on evidence and a Vermont Superior Court Judge will determine whether there is a preponderance of the evidence that you violated one or more terms of your probation. If the judge finds no violation occurs then the probation violation complaint is dismissed. The person continues on probation. If the judge finds a violation, then the judge will decide whether to revoke your probation and impose some or all of the suspended portion of your sentence. Depending on the number of prior violations and the severity of the violation the judge may also issue a stern warning and continue the offender on probation.

If you a facing a violation of probation or a furlough violation in Vermont contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your options and to mitigate your exposure.

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