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The Hawkins Law Firm
256.571.2829

2303 Court Street PO Box 899
Guntersville, AL 35976

256.705.3593

600 Boulevard South SW Suite 104
Huntsville, AL 35802

256.586.4510

1209 Spring Valley Drive, NE
Arab, AL 35016

Supervised vs. Unsupervised Probation in Alabama

Probation Man Wrapped in Tape Restricted Limited Movement

If you are convicted of a crime in Alabama, you might or might not be subject to incarceration. With a strong legal defense, you may be granted probation instead of jail time either at the time you are convicted or as a condition of early release after serving some time. Probation in Alabama can be either supervised or unsupervised, and each carries different conditions.
Reach out to a dedicated Alabama criminal defense lawyer for more detail or with any other questions about an Alabama criminal law matter.

Supervised probation

When most people think of probation, they think of supervised probation. Probation involves setting certain conditions for your freedom, such as reporting for drug, alcohol, or anger management counseling, submitting to drug and alcohol testing, remaining gainfully employed or attempting to do so, performing community service, and, always, avoiding any criminal activity.

If your probation is supervised, you will be assigned a probation officer who will ensure that you comply with all of these requirements and will generally monitor your progress. You may have to report to the probation officer on a regular schedule. Probation can last as little as six months and as long as five years, depending on the underlying crime. While you are on probation, the court can, at any time, issue a warrant for your arrest should there be evidence that you violated the conditions of your probation. Violations can be anything from failing a drug test or failing rehabilitation to associating with criminal elements to failing to pay fines.

Unsupervised probation

Unsupervised probation is different from supervised probation. Unsupervised probation is generally granted in misdemeanor cases where supervised probation is deemed unnecessary, but the court still prefers there to be some conditions for your release. You will have no probation officer supervising you (hence, “unsupervised”), but you still have some conditions to fulfill in order to stay out of jail.

The main and most important condition of even unsupervised probation is that you do not violate any state, local, or federal law during the term of your probation. If you do commit a crime, you will not only be subject to punishment for that new crime; you may also be subject to additional penalties for violating your probation. You may have to retroactively serve suspended jail time or pay fines that were set aside in exchange for probation. Unsupervised probation may also carry other conditions depending on the crime. For example, you may have to attend anger management counseling or drug and alcohol rehabilitation. If your crime involved drugs or alcohol, you may not be able to consume alcohol while on probation.

Unsupervised probation may be cheaper and less oppressive than supervised probation, but it is not something to be taken lightly. Any violation of your probation can land you in jail, subject you to additional fines, or convert your unsupervised probation into supervised probation.

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