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December 30, 2016


Probation is a contract between a person convicted of a criminal offense and the court by which the court agrees not to impose the maximum sentence allowable for a crime in exchange for the convicted individual’s promise not to violate rules imposed by the court over a certain period of time. For DUI’s the law provides that if probation is imposed it must not be shorter than three years and not longer than five years.


“Summary Probation” is a very informal way of monitoring a person who is on probation. The court usually requires a person on probation to appear on future dates to provide proof that that person in complying with court instructions. (This is different than Formal Probation which requires a person to report to a probation officer.) These instructions include providing proof that the person has enrolled in, is participating in, or has completed a court approved alcohol program. If the alcohol program is a term of probation, failure to enroll in the program and / or failure to successfully complete the alcohol program could be grounds for violation of such probation. Any violation of probation is considered a breach of the agreement not to violate laws in exchange for the court’s agreement not to impose jail time. As such, courts routinely order jail time when there is a violation of probation.


Another term of probation is that a person pays fine and fees or does community labor in exchange for jail time required for a DUI offense. There is a distinction between fines and fees. Fines are paid in lieu of jail time. They can be exchanged for community labor or community service. Failure to pay fines or do community work can result in jail as a violation of probation. Fees, on the other hand, are certain costs to the court that cannot be exchanged for work or jail. The penalty for not paying the fees results in a civil judgment. This civil judgment will not result in jail. However, it can result in a suspended license or a poor credit rating.


Also, a person cannot drive with a measurable amount of alcohol in his system or refuse any chemical test when requested by an officer. Failure to comply with this term of probation can not only result in jail time as a violation of probation, but can also result in a new DUI suspension for violating terms of probation. A somewhat serious violation of probation can only result in a violation of probation and a suspended license, but can also result in new DUI charges. For instance, if a person refuses all chemical tests requested by officers, that person can lose his license for at least two years, six months of jail as a probation violation, as well as a new offense which carries additional probation terms and jail time.

Well, I hope you found this most recent blog information. More DUI blogs are to follow.

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About the Author

At the Law Offices of Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman, our experienced team of DUI / Drunk Driving defense lawyers are dedicated to aggressively defending people arrested for DUI.