Probation. What does it mean for a DUI case?


When the court convicts you of a DUI or a misdemeanor, it will most often place you on a period of probation as part of the penalty.

What is probation?

Probation is a period in which the court suspends a jail sentence, and maintains jurisdiction over your case for a time.  For example, the court may sentence you to 90 days of jail, but they suspend 85 of those days.  You serve five days, but the court suspends the other 85 days and places you on probation for a year.  If you violate your terms, then you may have to serve any number of those 85 remaining days.

What are the terms of probation?

There are many terms of probation that a judge may order.  A judge may order any condition that is reasonably calculated to protect the community and aid in your rehabilitation.  For example, the court may order you to refrain from intoxicating substances without a valid prescription. The court may order you to submit to random urinalysis tests to test your blood, breath, or urine for intoxicating substances.  Or, the court may allow the probation officer to search your place of residence, or your automobile, or person, without notice to you.  Also, the court may order you not to have contact with certain individuals.  There are many terms that the court may order.  Violation of any of them could be cause for the court to revoke your probation and impose the suspended time.

What is supervised and unsupervised probation?

Probation comes in two forms, supervised and unsupervised.  Supervised probation means that you have an assigned probation officer (PO) to which you must report.  A PO will make sure that you are complying with the court’s orders.  He may have some terms of his own that he may impose.  He is sometimes given authority to search your place of residence, your car, or your person. You will be required to submit monthly reports to your PO, and have occasional meetings with them.  Unsupervised means that you do not have a PO.  So, you still may have some of the same terms, but there will not be a PO to keep tabs on you.

What happens if you violate probation?

If you violate any of your terms of probation, a warrant may issue for your arrest.  If the court determines that you have violated any of the terms, it may revoke your probation. Then it may impose some or all of the suspended jail time.  When you are on supervised probation, this will typically occur if the PO files a petition for probation violation with the court.  If you are on unsupervised probation, the state will only violate you if you complete some court order.  They may also violate you if the police charge you with a new crime.  If you had a withheld judgment in your case, the judge will revoke the withheld judgment and enter a judgment of conviction.

At the disposition hearing, the court has many options.  It may impose all of your suspended sentence.  It may impose some of your suspended sentence, but place you back on probation and defer the remainder of the sentence.  The court may just put you back on probation without imposing any of the jail.  Or it may merely commute your sentence, impose whatever amount of the suspended sentence it decides, and not place you back on probation.

Boise, Idaho Criminal Defense Attorney

Craig Atkinson is the lead attorney at Atkinson Law Office,
Boise DUI and Criminal Attorneys. It is located at 1087 W River St #290, Boise, ID 83702. You can call him anytime at 208.571.0627.

Ask Craig to review your case.

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