When you are convicted of a criminal offense in the State of Tennessee you may be sentenced to a term of probation in addition to, or in lieu of, a term of imprisonment. While you are on probation you must abide by all of the standard and special conditions of probation or risk a violation being filed with the court. Unless you have been on probation before you likely have a number of questions about how probation works and what is expected of you while on probation. One common question probationers ask is “ Can I leave the county while on probation in Tennessee? ” Only an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney can review the conditions placed on you in your specific case to be certain of the answer to that, and other questions you may have regarding the terms of your sentence; however, if this is your first experienced with probation it may help to have a basic understanding of the probation system.
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First, it is important to understand your actual sentence. All too often a defendant only hears “probation” and tunes out the rest of the sentence. Failing to understand the terms of your sentence, however, could have dire consequences should you violate your probation down the road. Typically, a judge will actually sentence a defendant to a period of incarceration but will then suspend that sentence and allow the time to be served on probation. For example, you might be sentence to 180 days in jail with all time not already served suspended with six months o probation, meaning you will not have to return to jail assuming you successfully complete your probation. That “suspended” time, however, is hanging over your head for the duration of your probation. If you violate your probation the judge may order your all, or a portion of, your suspended sentence.or
While on probation you must follow all standard terms, which everyone must abide by, such as:
- Reporting to a probation officer
- Maintaining employment/enrollment in school
- Not committing a new crime
- Paying fines, costs, restitution
The judge may also include “special” conditions that pertain to your case only, such as counseling for a drug problem or community work service.
Leaving the county may, or may not, be addressed in your probation conditions. Usually, a probationer may leave the county without seeking permission but not the state, If you have to travel farther away, and/or your job requires you to travel frequently, it would certainly be a good idea to discuss the matter with your probation officer to ensure that you do not inadvertently violate your probation.
If you have specific questions or concerns about the terms of your probation, contact the Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.
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