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Those found guilty of committing a crime may receive one of many sentences available within the criminal justice system. One of the most common sentences is probation.

What Is Probation?

Probation is a sentence that allows someone convicted of a crime to remain outside of jail. The individual must remain under the supervision of a probation officer and follow court-ordered rules and conditions. Some of these conditions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Therapy, either in a group or individual setting
  • Drug testing
  • Community service
  • Fines
  • Avoidance of further criminal activity

How Long Does Probation Last?

The length of time an individual is on probation varies depending on the offense and state law. Most often, probation commonly lasts for one to three years. That said, some crimes have resulted in probation for life due to the severity of the conviction.

In Minnesota, an individual cannot be on probation indefinitely, as there are limits set forth by Minnesota Statute 609.135, 2. For example, for a felony conviction, the individual may be on probation for a maximum of four years. For a misdemeanor, the maximum length lowers to one year, with exceptions.

What Happens If You Violate Probation?

If you break any of the conditions or rules outlined in the probation order, it results in a violation of probation. What happens next is up to your probation officer. For example, the officer may extend a warning or may require a probation violation hearing. If you are found in violation of your probation, you may face extended probation, fines or even jail time.

Can You Fight a Probation Violation Conviction?

Most states allow you to appeal a ruling resulting from a probation violation conviction. Yet, we recommend reaching out to an experienced attorney who can help. During your hearing, a criminal defense lawyer can present evidence that shows you didn’t violate your probation.

Reach Out to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’re facing a probation violation hearing, it’s best to reach out to an attorney who can help. To learn more about probation or for help navigating your case, give us a call at 763-241-0477 or send us a message.