Many people may hear the phrase "probation" and think "any person on probation should be thankful they aren't locked up." And in a broad sense, that is true. Probation is certainly preferred over being locked up in a jail cell in prison. However, probation has it's own set of complications and punishments that can make it a nightmare for anyway unfortunate enough to be accused of committing a criminal offense.
In our source article, the minutia of probation (and the bureaucratic nonsense of the criminal justice system) are laid bare in a terrifying experience for a 40-year-old woman who was caught driving while intoxicated one night. Prior to that evening, she had never been in trouble with the law. She didn't even have nay points on her license.
After she was pulled over and arrested for DUI, she was placed on probation with the intent being to avoid a conviction on the charge. That may sound good, but what actually happened was the probation ruined the woman's life.
She had to pay hundreds of dollars every months just to stay on probation. Her license was still suspended, and she lost multiple jobs as a result. She had to pay fees and penalties relating to her DUI. And she was summoned multiple times by the courts -- often unnecessarily or incompetently -- which often resulted in added financial penalties or blocked her from being released. There was even an example of the woman being thrown in jail for missing paperwork.
This story, right here, is why criminal defense attorneys are vital for those who have been accused of a crime -- any crime. Your rights and your livelihood are on the line when you are accused of a criminal offense. Don't take those threats lightly, even if the punishment you face may seem paltry in comparison to other consequences.
Source: New York Times, "Probation May Sound Light, but Punishments Can Land Hard," Shaila Dewan, Aug. 2, 2015