While many crimes require serving time in prison or jail, there are other forms of penalties that can be applied. In California, instead of serving the entire sentence, the convicted individual can serve what is called probation. There is a difference between a misdemeanor and felony probation, and this article will focus on the eligibility and requirements of felony probation.
First, felony probation can only be offered to those who have been convicted of committing a felony crime. However, not every single felony convict can serve probation instead of going to prison. In California, felony probation is granted based on the final decision of the presiding judge. The judge will consider many factors and key evidence, such as the context of the crime, prior criminal history, the safety of the victim, and the possibility for rehabilitation. The judge can also receive a probation report. This report comes from the probation department and can highlight the convicted individual’s eligibility and possible conditions for probation. However, some felonies are considered ineligible for probation due to the severity of the committed crime.
If probation is granted instead of going to prison, there are many conditions the convict must continuously meet. For example, unlike misdemeanor probation, the person must meet with their probation officer. They can also be required to attend counseling/therapy, not commit further crimes, and pay restitution for the crime they committed. However, if the individual violates their probation, the consequences can be severe. In some cases, a probation violation can justify revoking the probation as a whole and instead lead to the person going to prison. If someone is on probation, it is vital that they know of their responsibilities and duties, as well as rights.