So you find yourself on probation after working out a plea bargain with the District Attorney. Your lawyer and you have entered into a deal where you will spend 3 years on formal supervised probation. What does this really mean to you though?
Being on probation is when you are conditionally released back into the community instead of going to jail or prison for the maximum term possible for whatever crime you committed. Let’s say you plead guilty to a crime that has a maximum possible sentence of 3 years in custody. Instead of serving those 3 years in custody and being done with your obligations, you are put on put on probation. You are released into the community but the possibility of doing the 3 years in custody hangs over you if you don’t meet all the obligations of being on probation.
One common requirement of someone on probation is that the probationer not possess firearms or illegal drugs. This seems pretty clear. If you are on probation you shouldn’t have in your possession guns or illegal drugs. However, recently in the case of People v Hall (2017 D.A.R. 1235 February 9, 2017) the question was does the probationer have to be in knowing possession.