When a defendant is convicted of a criminal offense the sentence the individual receives may include a period of probation in lieu of, or in addition to, a term of incarceration. If you have recently been sentenced to a term of probation you will be expected to abide by a set of standard and special conditions while on probation. A violation of any of those conditions could result in a violation of probation notice being filed which, in turn, could lead to a return to custody. One question people often have when they are placed on probation is “ Can I drink alcohol while on probation? ”
When you are sentenced to probation you will be given a list of standard conditions of probation that you must adhere to throughout your term of probation. “Standard” conditions are those that everyone placed on probation must abide by and typically include things such as:
- Reporting to a probation officer as directed
- Maintaining employment or enrollment in school
- Reporting any change of address
- Not committing any new criminal offenses
- Not using any illegal drugs
Your sentence may also include “special” conditions of probation. “Special” conditions of probation are unique to your case and are not required of everyone on probation. Your special conditions might include things such as:
- Completion of community work service hours
- Payment of restitution
- Completion of anger management classes
- Completion of a drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary
- No contact with a victim in the case
Whether or not you are allowed to drink alcohol while on probation will depend on the standard and special conditions of your specific probation. Although the “standard” conditions are the same for all probationers in that county, the standard conditions can change from one county to the next. It is not uncommon, however, for the standard conditions to include refraining from drinking alcohol or having alcohol at your home. Even if the standard conditions do not forbid consuming alcohol, your special conditions might, particularly if your conviction was for an alcohol or drug related offense.
In any event, certain criminal offenses include consuming alcohol and you are definitely not allowed to commit another criminal offense. Driving under the influence, for example, is a crime regardless of whether you are allowed to drink on probation or not. Likewise, if you are under the legal drinking age you certainly cannot consume alcohol while on probation.
The best way to ensure that you are not in violation of the terms of your probation is to consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule a free consultation.
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