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Old 04-30-2005, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is probation like?

I am asking because I have been sent a letter to go to an appointment for probation, supervised probation. It is for one year. This is the first time I ever went through this and I am wondering what to expect.

The letter stated that I had to show proof of residence, schooling and of work. I am on SSI for disability. One thing that has been somewhat worriful on my mind is that I have this odd and unsettling feeling that I might get scrutinized because I am low income or on SSI. I had heard that probation officers are sticklers and can sometimes get on people's cases. I really do not want to discuss my financial status in length since it isn't really business and is not the reason why I would be going there. I do not want to lose my aid because of someone else who is a possible judger.

Other than this I have no issues with probation at all and will pay my dues and follow the rules as they come.

Thanks to anybody who could enlighten me on this matter.
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Old 05-01-2005, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It probably depends on your probation officer and the reason you are on probation. My friend was on probation for a year after a DUI. He saw the PO exactly once, and just had to pay the monitoring charge and call an automated # once a month. And get permission to leave the county.

I have no idea about the ssi issue. If you have a legitmate disability, I can't see how the PO can change anything.

Good luck
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Old 05-01-2005, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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RJ,
Probation is really quite easy depending on how strict they are going to be for you. I had very relaxed probation for 6 months when I got my drunk driving. Basically I went in, she asked if I was going to my classes (checked the sheet I had to get signed), asked how things were going and let me go. It was a 5 minute deal and very painless even though I tended to get nervous everytime I went in there. I only met once a month though (if that, sometimes she told me to come every other if things were going ok). so total I probrably saw her 4-5 times.
I also have spent 4 months on an internship with the local probation/parole dept. (Yeah, Criminal Justice major in college and Then got arrested and ended up on probation myself!) I do know at that internship there are varying amounts of time the probationers want to see people. Some are once a month and others are once a week. Sometimes they'll do random drug testing (which you usually have to pay for!) and they may ask about your income but only for the sake of getting the fines paid off. As long as your paying what they want, they should basically leave you alone about it. They will call your residence randomly and 'check up' on you with someone else who knows you when you don't know it...watch for that. (I had that job!)
Basically though, it's as simple as...if you follow the rules, do what they want....probation is easy and really only becomes an inconvenience to 'check in' all the time. It's nothing to worry about as long as your doing what they want. However, never forget the power they do have...after all, they are the ones who recommended your sentance in the first place so, it's likely they are the reason you're there and they are the ones with the power to send you to jail/prison if you violate the rules.
I hope that helps!!
Stacey
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Old 05-01-2005, 11:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks csmcjewel, greatful2004

I will be having the alcohol testing bit. I will be calling the number on the letter to find out if the monthly payments need to be made for them. The courts took the extra cost of the table that was destroyed and applied it to monthly payments towards probation. Think it's restitution but my Mother will not be getting compensated, the payment is going to probation so I don't think that would be really restitution. If anything My mother would be getting paid back extra for the table and not the system.

Being a criminal major and then ending in probation sound like you got to see both sides of the coin. The court system is very strict. They seem to make big out the little things. I feel like a criminal because of this and it's a terrible feeling at times.

Thanks for giving out some possible clues on to what to expect with probation.
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJwantstolive
The court system is very strict. They seem to make big out the little things.
Be glad you live in MA. Probation is a piece of cake here.
As for making little things big... I would rather they go after the so called little things before they end up being bigger things.
Today a table.. tomorrow the whole house?
Today probation... tomorrow 30 years?

Be thankful they are doing things about what you call little.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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feel like a criminal? You committed a crime, right? Then,,,,,,,
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You've got a point there best. I guess I didn't see it at first being criminal since I have never had it happen to me before and for me the word criminal always meant someone who was a thief or committed murders and such things like this but I see it also applies to things that aren't as severe.

I didn't mean in any way to make light of the situation and I apologize if it sounded that way. I know what I did was wrong and I will pay my dues accordingly.

I went to the first probation appointment today. The officer wasn't there, think I overheard that she was sick. I got there about 8:30am, a half hour early but I was taken in anyway. I had taken the 7:30am bus instead of the 8:30. The buses aren't always dependable and I didn't want to be late. I was told be another person I will either get a call or a letter informing me of the next appointment. I also started paying the monthly restitution obligation related to probation.

One cop asked if I had a belt on, before going though the scanner. I said yes but looked and wasn't wearing one. Cop said "he must have forgotten it" and they all started laughing. I made it fine through the detector and then went up to the cop who had the hand-held scanner. He looked at me serious, I thought he was going to do a hand scan so I waited there. I guess I'll be talk at the next cop's poker party, lol. I still am not familiar and how and when things are done. I do have typical blond moments.
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
Don't get undies in a bunch
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJwantstolive
I know what I did was wrong and I will pay my dues accordingly.
Know what?

Your going to do just fine. Understanding what happened and taking responsability for your actions is a HUGE point of growth.
Your going to do just fine.

Congratulations.
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