If you are on probation for a criminal conviction, any violation of the probationary terms are supposed to lead to some sort of sanction. However, because this would cause unending paperwork and because minor violations may not warrant a serious sanction, it doesn’t always happen this way. According to the Oregonian, Governor Kulongoski wants more aggressive followup on minor probation violations, and hopes to use some $13.5 million of stimulus money to make this happen.
Measure 57 passed last November toughening up sentences for repeat non-violent offenders. While this was done in the interest of preventing recidivism, budget shortfalls make it nearly impossible to have prison beds for all of the additional state inmates this would create.
As another option, Kulongoski wants to create a sort of last chance probation for these offenders. This probation would be more intense than others in that each violation would go directly before a judge. In other probation cases, the probation officer uses their good judgment and a probationer often doesn’t get taken in front of a judge at all.
One failed drug test could get a Measure 57 offender violated on their probation and serving their entire sentence in prison. While this seems harsh, it is far more lenient than sending them directly to prison, as Measure 57 was designed to do. In addition, it will save the state some serious money.
Probation is definitely a privilege. And although it is nearly always a vast improvement to serving time in jail, it does carry some difficult to manage conditions. Curfews, random drug testing, and regular visits with a supervising officer can seem like a lot. People who are granted probation in lieu of prison time, however, are typical grateful.
Not all offenses are eligible for probation while some others are nearly always penalized with this alternative sentence. If you are facing criminal charges you would likely prefer to serve probation rather than an active sentence. Knowing what the potential sentence is for your offense can let us evaluate all of the possibilities.
Call us today, regardless of your charges, to discuss your case. I can help you determine if you might be eligible for probation or some other alternative if you are at risk of a jail sentence for a criminal charge in Oregon.