Felony Probation and/or Parole is handled by a State agency called the Department of Corrections. It is not a division of the local court. To contact this department, see Other Links.
In the District Court, the Probation Department supervises and assists persons placed on probation, conducts investigations, and prepares pre-sentence reports. This department handles misdemeanor convictions.
Probation is an option that the court can use in determining the penalty a defendant receives for a criminal conviction. It is not a right guaranteed a defendant. By granting probation, the court imposes a sentence. The court has determined that the defendant is not likely to engage in further criminal activity and that the defendant is not a threat to the public. The maximum length of a sentence to probation in the District Court may not be greater than two years. The maximum length of a sentence to probation in the Circuit Court may not be greater than five years.
In addition to the general conditions of probation, the court may require the defendant to carry out other special conditions, such as:
- Attending certain programs
- Refraining from certain activities
- Performing community service
- Serving time in jail
At the end of the probation period, and when the probationer (the person placed on probation) has met all of the conditions of probation, the probation officer will submit a Petition to Discharge to the judge.