Probation Rules

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Probation is often given as a sentence for non-violent offenders who have been convicted of a crime. Especially if the incident was a first offense, probation is given to limit overcrowding of jails and helping to rehabilitate the offender while still participating in the community. Here are some rules common to probation sentences.

Obey Laws

All probation sentences, whether misdemeanor or felony, require the person to obey all laws. This does not mean that a person on probation who gets a speeding ticket is in violation of their probation. It does mean that any other violation of the law which results in an arrest or a recorded felony or misdemeanor is a violation of probation.

PO Meetings

A monthly or weekly meeting in person with a probation officer is a common requirement. The probation officer will verify where and with whom the person is living. The offender's employment status is also verified. People on probation are required to have gainful employment or be enrolled in school. The probation officer also evaluates the quarterly or periodic statement of personal finances with income and expenses itemized. All terms of probation are verified at the meeting, and any documentation requested must be presented to the probation officer.


Probation officers may visit the residence of the person on probation day or night and inspect the home. The probation officers may search for drugs, weapons, or any other prohibited material. The visit can be unannounced and does not require a search warrant.

Rehab and Testing

Narcotic and alcoholic offenders may be required to submit to drug testing. Other offenders are required to show proof of attendance at Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Other rehabilitation groups and facilities may be required and assist in the process.


Many people who receive probation are given restrictions on travel . Most cannot leave the state or country without the written consent of the probation officer. Driving while uninsured or on a suspended license is a violation of probation.


Failure to comply with the terms of probation can result in incarceration, revocation of probation, additional probation time and fines. A person on probation should consult regularly with the probation officer and a personal attorney to clarify and complete the terms of probation successfully.


About the Author

Stephen Saylor is a bilingual educator and translator who has been writing since 2005. He has contributed articles to websites such as and XtremeMusic. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in education from San Diego State University.