Being charged with any type of crime is a serious matter. Depending on the type of offense, you could face severe penalties like prison time, fines, community service, and parole. However, in some cases, offenders may be given probation instead of a prison sentence. While on probation, it is important to understand that you are still under the supervision of the criminal justice system. As such, it is imperative that you follow the rules. If you violate your probation, you may be sent to prison. Consult with an experienced attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
Types of probation in Wyoming
Whether you receive prison time or probation depends on the type of crime you are convicted of. For example, if you are convicted of a violent felony, probation is likely off the table. Instead you probably face a lengthy prison sentence. On the other hand, if you are convicted of a DUI, chances are high that you might be penalized with a period of probation.
Following are the two types of probation in Wyoming:
- Supervised — Supervised probation is generally associated with felony offenses. If you are on supervised probation, you will have to report to a probation officer. The officer can also make random visits to check up on you. Additionally, you will be required to go to your probation officer’s office and take tests for alcohol or illegal controlled substances. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your probation period may last for years.
- Unsupervised — Unsupervised probation is typically sought for misdemeanors and it can last for up to one year. The court will set specific terms and conditions based on your conviction. In addition, the court may require that you do not consume alcohol and refrain from visiting liquor stores or bars. Further, counseling may be deemed necessary to ensure you will not re-offend.
It is your right to request an early release from probation if you feel you have done well and are able to reintegrate into society without re-offending.
What happens if I violate my probation in Wyoming?
Missing a probation meeting or drug test is a violation of the court order. As a result, you face as much time in jail or prison as you would have received if you were never sentenced to probation in the first place. If your probation officer believes you have violated your probation, they can take you into custody. Next, you will have to attend a probation revocation hearing.
During the hearing, which will be before a judge and hearing officer, you have the right to cross examine witnesses. You may also present evidence to support your innocence. However, ultimately, it is the judge’s decision whether you should be penalized and the burden of proof in a probation violation is lower than the original burden of proof required to convict you.
It is important to remember that jail/prison is not an automatic consequence of a probation violation. An experienced attorney may be able to help reduce the penalties you face.
Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney
Davis & Cannon, LLP, provides trusted defense counsel to clients throughout Wyoming. To schedule a consultation with a skilled Sheridan criminal defense lawyer today, call (307) 672-7491 or contact us online.