Empty courtroomThis is the next post in our series on serving probation in the state of Arkansas. Our last post provided an overview of topics we will be discussing and stressed the need to contact an attorney if you or a loved one is accused of violating probation. In this article we will be addressing what one can expect while on probation and steps you should take during the process.

What Arkansas defendants can expect while serving probation

One serving probation can expect to live their life as if they are walking on eggshells. This is due to the many requirements one must fulfill. One who is convicted and given a second chance by the Court, must stay out of trouble, will often take regular drug tests, will be required to pay supervision fees, and will typically have other requirements such as community service and/or having to attend school. Furthermore, you will be required to regularly check in with a supervisor and your probation officer must be kept informed as to your living arrangements. Finally, your P.O. will typically have the right to search your residence without giving your prior notice. Failure to adhere to any of these conditions can result in one facing a probation revocation proceeding.

It is important for Arkansas defendants to understand that their probation officer will often grant them little leeway early in the process. Like anything else in life, one must earn the trust of their P.O. and it will not be freely given. If one regularly fails to check in early in the process, then the P.O. will have no reason to believe that it was an honest mistake and that the person should be “cut some slack.” If, however, one has developed a history of checking in on time and staying in compliance with their requirements then the officer may be more understanding of a legitimate mistake. Accordingly, it is especially imperative that you meet each and every one of your requirements, without exception, early in the process.

Arkansas residents serving probation should use the time as an opportunity to improve themselves

If you are serving probation in Arkansas for a criminal offense then it is important that you use this time as an opportunity to improve yourself. This includes finding and maintaining employment, furthering your education, and acquiring new work skills. This is important for two reasons. First is the fact that employment, education, and other skills will be of great benefit as one moves through life. Second, if one is unfortunately accused of violating their probation then the Judge will be more likely to give them a second chance if they have been using their time to better themselves. A Judge will be far less patient if it appears that the opportunity of probation has been squandered.

It is important to remember that probation is a privilege and is not a right. Understanding what to expect from the process, and the ramifications of a violation, is crucial.

Our Little Rock attorneys assist Arkansas defendants accused of violating their probation. Call our lawyers today to schedule an initial consultation.