How Probation works in Alabama

It should come as no surprise to hear that the American prison system is quite crowded. This is one of the reasons why an experienced criminal lawyer in Alabama can often work with individuals who are facing criminal charges in order to help avoid a conviction. And while this might seem like the obvious best options, there are certain circumstances were the better option is to actually plead no-contest or guilty to the crimes in question. Sometimes there is simply an abundance of evidence that will lead to a conviction regardless of how the defendant pleads.

So why hire an Alabama criminal lawyer criminal lawyer ? Well, even if you face a conviction, it might be possible for an experienced attorney to work with the court system to secure probation rather than a prison or jail sentence. Sometimes this is the best-case scenario, and can even prove beneficial.

General Terms of Probation

In Alabama, both district and circuit courts have the ability to sentence defendants to probation if they meet certain conditions. This is true in both felony and misdemeanor cases where potential imprisonment is less than 15 years and where death is not part of the crime. The maximum amount of probation time for a felony is five years, and two years for a misdemeanor. The initial probation sentence can be reduced or extended as long as it meets those length guidelines. Probation sentences will terminate automatically once the terms of the probation have been completed unless the court moves to take a different action.

If a judge decides that probation is the best option for you, the court will then refer your case to a probation officer. This officer will then conduct their own investigation into the case, and will make a recommendation about the appropriateness of probation in your specific circumstance to the court. Should probation be granted, then the probation officer provides you with instructions regarding how to fulfill the terms of your sentence along with information about what happens if you violate them.

Should you violate your probation, it is possible that you could be arrested. This can happen even without a warrant out for your arrest, and additional penalties can be added to your sentence. This can include the revocation of your probation offer as well as prison time. If your probation is revoked, you will face a revocation hearing where your alleged violations will be described and where will have the chance to defend yourself.

Seek an Experienced Lawyer

If you are looking at criminal charges in Alabama, the time has arrived to seek out an experienced lawyer. The Riley Law Firm has over 26 years of experience in criminal defense and can evaluate your case to determine the best legal strategy to follow. Contact us today for more information! Call us at 205.212.5577 and see how we can help.