Applying to the Court for Probation


Applying to the Court for Probation

Post-Trial Procedure in a Criminal Case

Applying to the Court for Probation

If you have been convicted of a crime, and a motion for a new trial is not in order or was denied, you may still be able to apply for parole at sentencing.

At sentencing, you may be:

  • Given straight probation; or

  • Especially if there is a prior criminal record, the probation officer may recommend a certain time in jail or prison be served prior to being eligible for parole; or

  • Given probation that is conditional upon specific requirements such as performing community service, completing a treatment program, or other conditions of probation.

Some offenses require mandatory jail time served or may be ineligible for parole. You may also be asked to pay a fine or make restitution.

An application for probation should be properly prepared in order to get the best outcome at sentencing, while there are certain things that should be part of a request for parole, because each case is different, it is best to contact Attorney Scott Grabel to discuss your post-trial sentencing options.

The Importance of Disclosing Prior Convictions and Arrests

The defendant should disclose to his or her attorney any prior arrests or convictions on record. Trying to hide your past will not work as criminal records, unless sealed, are a matter of public record. It is better to be honest when applying for parole.

Family Needs and Being a Productive Member of Society

The application should reflect the defendant’s employment status, and any contributions made to society (for example volunteer or charity work) that helps establish the defendant as a productive member of society.

If you have family members that you provide care for because they are disabled, elderly, or have a medical condition that requires care, let the parole board know of the importance of family obligations.

Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

It should also be conveyed if the defendant has remorse or shows signs of penitence, or wishes to seek treatment. If you have been convicted, regardless of what you think, the parole board sees you as being guilty of a crime. Taking responsibility for your actions is an important step in assuring the board you are a strong candidate for being given parole.

Consider Treatment Options

If the conviction was related to a crime or activity that may be less likely to be repeated if treatment is obtained, the defendant should make clear if they would like to seek treatment. Examples include treatment for gambling addiction, drug or alcohol abuse, anger management, mental health counseling, parenting classes, and even job rehabilitation.

Seeking treatment not only helps in achieving rehabilitation goals, but may also indicate a further acknowledgement and responsibility for the crime for which you have been convicted.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation can play an important role when requesting probation. Court rules limit testimony and will not permit “hearsay.” Letters of recommendation do not have the same limitations on what a person can say.

Letters from employers, friends, family, clergy, etc. may help to establish that the request for probation is reasonable.

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