In Utah, probation is one of the standard penalties for an offender in a criminal case. The two types of probation are informal probation involving court supervision and formal probation, which involves a probation officer supervising the convicted person.
During sentencing, the court clarifies which type of probation the offender must complete. The court can always tell an offender their probation status.
Details on Informal Probation in Utah
Informal probation typically ends when a person has paid their fine in full. If the person does not fulfill the requirements of informal probation by a certain deadline, the court will rule that they have violated the terms of their probation. The person can then be sentenced to the maximum remaining penalty for their charge.
For example, if a person could have been sentenced to 180 days in jail for their charge and they served two days when they were arrested, violation of probation could lead to serving 178 days in jail.
Details on Formal Probation in Utah
A person on formal probation signs a written probation agreement with the court, which explains what the individual can and cannot do while on probation. The person will be assigned to a probation officer with Adult Probation & Parole (AP&P) of the Utah Department of Corrections.
Utah divides the state into five regions. Salt Lake City and the remainder of Salt Lake County is in District 3, along with Summit and Tooele counties.
The person must keep the court informed of their current mailing and physical address and obey all laws and local ordinances. Typically, the court suspends the majority of a person’s jail time and some, if not most, of their fine.
Completing the Term of Probation
If the person completes their term of probation without breaking any of the terms and conditions of their agreement, the suspended portions of their sentence will be eliminated, and their case file will be closed.
If the person violates the terms of their probation agreement, the court can revoke their probation. The court can commit the person to jail for their original sentence, less the time the person has already served. They may also owe the balance of their fine.
Standard Conditions of Probation
The numerous terms of standard conditions of probation include:
- Visits to one’s workplace, residence and other locations.
- Reporting to one’s probation officer.
- Conduct (obeying laws and court orders).
- Weapons (may not own, possess or have under one’s control or custody dangerous weapons, firearms, explosives, archery equipment or crossbows).
- Submitting to regular drug tests.
- Searches of oneself, residence and vehicle.
- Association with other people involved in criminal activity.
- Employment (must seek and maintain full-time employment).
- Being truthful with the court and one’s probation officer.
- Paying $30 monthly supervision fee.
- Providing sample of DNA.
- Complying with curfew set by a Utah Adult Probation and parole officer.
- Complying with case action plan set by AP&P.
As an example of the standard condition of reporting, the person may not abscond from probation supervision. They must report as directed by the Utah Department of Corrections. The person must establish and reside at the residence of record on file with the court.
The person may not change their residence without first obtaining permission from an adult probation and parole officer and may not leave the state of Utah without prior written permission from a Utah adult probation officer.
Special Conditions of Probation
Additional special conditions of probation include tasks such as attending meetings related to substance abuse recovery, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings; completing a specific number of community service hours in lieu of a fine; successfully completing the drug court program; and successfully completing an educational or vocational program as directed.
If a person has a concern with completing a special condition of probation, like earning their high school diploma, but could find a reasonable alternative, such as earning a G.E.D., they can work with the court to explain what is possible for them to achieve.
Additional Probation Conditions
Utah has additional rules for offenders on particular types of formal probation. These include conditions for:
- Sex offenders in Group A, meaning individuals who offended against anyone under the age of 18.
- Sex offenders in Group B, meaning individuals who offended against an adult.
- Sex offenders in Group C, meaning individuals who were between the ages of 18 and 22, and in a consensual sexual relationship with a 14- or 15-year-old.
- Individuals enrolled in an electronic monitoring program.
- Individuals in a gang program.
For example, a person enrolled in an electronic monitoring program must understand that the program requires providing a phone line for use of the home monitoring unit (HMU). The HMU can cause some disturbance with the existing phone line. The person enrolled in the program must pay the cost to use the HMU.
How Juvenile Probation Works
The juvenile court administers a probation department. The probation officers of the juvenile court supervise youth under 18 who have been placed on probation. They also conduct evaluations and submit reports on each juvenile’s progress.
The juvenile court can require minors to pay fines or restitution, monies to compensate a victim for damages as part of the terms of juvenile probation.
Parole Is Different From Probation
Parole is different from probation because parole is for individuals who have served time in prison. Utah sees parole as a conditional release from prison to community supervision before the person’s sentence expires. A person who is on parole will be assigned a parole agent. In other states, a parole agent is called a parole officer.
The offender must report to their parole agent and abide by conditions set by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. These may include inpatient drug and alcohol therapy, sex offender or mental health therapy, completion of a halfway house program, abstaining from alcohol use, electronic monitoring and payment of restitution.
One of the special conditions of parole may be intensive supervision parole (ISP), which involves strict requirements like random drug testing and multiple check-ins per week with the parole agent.
- Utah State Courts: Criminal penalties
- Utah Department of Corrections: Probation & parole conditions
- Utah Department of Corrections: Probation standard conditions
- Utah Department of Corrections: Probation special conditions
- Uintah County, Utah: Sentencing/probation - FAQ
- Utah Department of Corrections: Contact adult probation & parole
- Utah State Courts: An overview of the Utah juvenile courts
- Utah Board of Pardons and Parole: Frequently asked questions
- Utah Department of Corrections: Electronic monitor program
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.