Probation in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, probation is a sentencing option for the Court. This means that a judge can choose to sentence a criminal defendant to probation in place of some portion of their jail time. However, probation is not just a “get out of jail free” card. Persons who are placed on probation are obligated to abide by the terms of the probation until they are released. If a person fails to abide by the terms of the probation, they can be charged with a probation violation. The length of probation depends on the nature of the underlying conviction. For a misdemeanor conviction the maximum term of probation is two years. A felony conviction can result in up to five years of probation.
A probation violation is a very serious matter. Persons who are found to have violated the terms of their probation can receive a number of penalties the most serious of which is the loss of their freedom. A probation violation can result in the imposition of the maximum punishment for the underlying offense. For example,consider a scenario wherein you are convicted of a class B felony, and you have been sentenced to the house of corrections for twelve months with the entire sentence suspended upon the successful completion of probation. If you violate the terms of probation, the maximum penalty which could be imposed is not twelve months. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the probation violation, you can receive a term of imprisonment of up to seven years, the maximum penalty for a class B felony. If you have been charged with a probation violation, contact our experienced criminal defense team.
The terms of probation will vary based on each individual case. Some of the most common terms require that the person on probation:
- Not engage in any criminal activity while on probation;
- Remain drug and alcohol;
- Not have contact with known criminals;
- Regularly report to the probation officer; and
- Keep the probation officer informed of any change in address.
How to Know if You Have Violated the Terms of Your Probation
Every person that is placed on probation is informed of the terms from the outset. The Court will also assign every person placed on probation with a probation officer who will again review the terms of the probation with them. They will then be required to sign a document stating that they understand the terms. If they are represented by a criminal defense lawyer, then their attorney can explain the terms of probation at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing. There should not be any reason for any person on probation to be unaware of the probation terms.
If you have been arrested for a crime or if you have already been charged with a criminal offense, contact the Law Office of Chadwick-Fricano-Weber at (603) 880-6100 to schedule an initial consultation.