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Instead of serving a prison sentence, a defendant may be required to serve probation. During probation, sometimes known as a suspended sentence, the defendant may be required to comply with conditions of release. The defendant's probation is supervised by a probation officer whose job it is to set up regularly meetings with the defendant.

Individuals on probation may be prohibited from carrying a weapon, leaving the jurisdiction or working around minors. Generally, an individual must give up certain rights -- such as the the protections against unreasonable searches and seizures -- in order to be released on probation.

Searches must be reasonable [1]

If the defendant fails to comply with terms of probation the probation officer may request the sentencing court hold a revocation hearing. If the court determines that the individual violated their probation, they may revoke the probation and re-instate the prison sentence.

See Sentencing


  1. Griffin v. Wisconsin, 483 U.S. 868 (1987), United States v. Consuelo-Gonzalez, 521 F.2d 259 (9th Cir. 1975).