Probation is offered to offenders by the court as a rehabilitative, community-based programme. It serves as an alternative sentencing option to imprisonment which ranges from a duration not less than 6 months to not more than 3 years.
What can I expect during probation?
During the probation period, the offender will be placed under the personal care and supervision of a Probation Officer. The order for probation will make it compulsory for the offender to perform certain obligations such as to report regularly to his Probation Officer and comply with curfews or programmes designed to the particular offender. Families of such offenders are invariably involved in this process as part of a multi-faceted approach to bringing about positive changes in the offender’s life.
Will probation result in a criminal record?
No. A sentence of Probation is not equivalent to a first conviction.
What offences qualify for Probation?
Whether probation can be ordered to an offender depends on several conditions. We have to first look at the punishment of the offence committed by the offender. If an offence is:
(a) “Fixed by law” – fixed in quantum and in type. For example, the mandatory death penalty or wording such as “shall be punished with $2000 fine”, probation will NOTbe available to the offender.
(b) “Mandatory minimum sentence” – fixed with a mandatory minimum sentence. For example, wording such as ““shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 2 years and up to 7 years”, probation will only be available to offender if the offender has attained the age of 16 years but has not attained the age of 21 years at the time of his conviction; and has not been previously convicted of any such offence.
(c) “Specified minimum sentence” – fixed with a specific minimum sentence. For example, “shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment of not less than 2 years or with fine up to $1,000 or with both”, probation will only be available to offender if the offender has attained the age of 16 years but has not attained the age of 21 years at the time of his conviction; and has not been previously convicted of any such offence.
(d) Any other offences, probation can be available to all.
Contact us now to know more about Probation and what we can do for you!