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Probation is a set of conditions that the Court places on a defendant instead of sending the person to jail. The goal of probation is two-fold: to keep the offender from causing harm to society, and to rehabilitate the offender.
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Normally District Court probation cases are not transferred. Requests for transfer must be in writing, addressed to the supervising probation officer. Cases are only transferred with the probation officer and the District Court Administrator, or designee, authorization.
Unless your probation officer tells you differently, you will be mailed a copy of your discharge paperwork without having to report to the probation department. You should not have to appear in front of the Judge, and you do not have to sign any paperwork.
The Judge often has a defendant meet with a probation officer for a pre-sentence investigation (PSI). The PSI is a tool used by the court to gather information and make recommendations to the Judge for sentencing. Meeting with the probation officer does not mean that you will automatically be placed on probation.
You must contact his or her probation officer, and arrange a date to go before the Judge to make the request. The Judge must make the decision to lift the no contact order. View our policy (PDF) regarding this issue.
You must complete an assessment at an agency within the time period directed by your probation officer. After the assessment, you will meet with a therapist to discuss the results, and you and the therapist will develop a treatment plan. You will follow the directives of the therapist for treatment. This means that if the therapist says you need to attend a group once per week, you are to attend a group once per week.
If the therapist says that you are to complete individual counseling each week, you are to complete individual counseling each week. Once you and the therapist feel you have reached the goals of the treatment plan, you will be successfully discharged from counseling. You must also ensure that your probation officer receives monthly reports from your therapist verifying that you are attending and complying with your counseling. Failure to complete counseling in a timely manner or failing to follow the directives of the probation officer or the therapist may result in a probation violation.
Not necessarily. Often a probation violation results in more treatment options or other sanctions, or just a short term jail sentence. A probation violation hearing does not always mean that you will serve the full jail sentence. Note: you may download this form (PDF), fill it in and bring it with you.
One of the conditions of your probation is that you are not to use alcohol or drugs. Testing is the only way we can make sure that you are not using these substances while on probation.
We are kept very busy here, but we make every attempt to return phone messages on the day they are left. If you reach voicemail, leave a message, and your call will be returned. You may also use email to reach your probation officer. Email Lindsay Sova or email Abby Frisbie with your message.
If a person is placed on probation with a deferral than the case is completely non-public. This means that the only response court staff is allowed, by law, to give to questions about these cases is no public record exists.
Probation generally ranges from 6 to 24 months depending on several factors. There are a few, more severe offenses, such as stalking, that may result in 5 years probation.
Deferrals are non-public while on probation and upon successful discharge from probation. If probation is revoked, the charge would become public at that time. Other Courts are able to access deferrals if you are in that court for a crime. This is to ensure that you don’t receive a deferral that you may have already received.
The total amount that you are ordered to pay is composed of several amounts. You will be charged a fine, prosecution costs, a crime victim fee, and a state minimum fee. You may also be charged the following types of fees:
The maximum fine amount listed on your court paperwork is just one part of the overall total that is required by law to be considered and addressed by the court in the setting of fines and costs.
The normal fee is $15 per test, and unless authorized by the probation officer, must be paid when tested.
View the Gratiot County Testing Policy (DOC), the District Court Policy (DOC), or the EtG Testing Policy (DOC).
You may test at this agency from 8 to 11:30 a.m., and from 1 to 4 p.m. You may test at any drug testing agency, or medical center as well. However, it is your responsibility to find an alternate location to test at if you are unable to test here.
The following places that are currently testing in this area are:
Per Michigan Court Rule 1.110, all fines and costs are due and payable on the date of sentencing.
At sentencing the Judge will order an alternative jail sentence. If you are unable to pay your full amount as ordered, you must report to jail to serve the alternative jail sentence. Speak with your probation officer for further information.
Most people on probation are not allowed to enter any premises that serve alcohol by the glass. This means that you cannot enter any business whose primary income is based on the sale of alcohol.
Some restaurants also serve alcohol. You may enter those locations, but you may not enter the bar area, and no one in your party may consume alcohol.
This is based on several circumstances. Some people report 1 to 2 times per week (although this is rare), and some people do not have to physically report to the probation officer throughout their probation.
Probation does not necessarily require that you come in to physically meet with your probation officer. However, even if you are on non-reporting probation you will still be obligated to report certain things to your probation officer. These include change of address or phone number, plans to leave the state, and contact with law enforcement officials.
Probation is tailored to fit your offense, the circumstances surrounding it, and your individual history. Some common conditions of probation are that you cannot consume alcohol and/or drugs, completion of drug/alcohol tests, and counseling. However, there are several other conditions that may be placed on you as a condition of probation. Read a letter from the judge (PDF) about probation.
Under some circumstances the court will consider early release from probation. All money owed to the court must be paid in full, and all probation conditions must have been met. You must also have a valid reason to ask for the early discharge. At that point, you must make your request to the Judge in writing.
While on probation you may be responsible for any of the following depending on what you were ordered to do:
Probation is imposed as a conditional sentence at the discretion of the court. This means that the judge will decide at the time of your sentencing whether or not there are valid reasons to place you on probation rather than just impose fines and costs or impose a straight jail sentence.
The judge decides each case on a individual basis and you will be given a full opportunity to tell the judge anything that you want him to know and consider before he decides on and imposes your sentence. The judge will evaluate whether your offense and you individually are suitable and appropriate for placement on probation. You can not just pay more fines and costs as a way to avoid being placed on probation by the court.
For purposes of compliance with probation we do not allow use of medical marijuana while on probation. Review our policy regarding medical marijuana (PDF).
Antisocial conduct is any behavior that is the following:
There are several options to complete your testing regarding locations and times. View our policy on testing (DOC).
Read over our policy on getting a restricted license (DOC).
Review instructions (PDF) for how you should write an apology letter.
Drug and alcohol testing is only effective when it is random, or daily. This means that, while it is inconvenient, you cannot be notified ahead of time of the dates that you need to complete your tests.