Probation is a court-ordered sanction that allows a person to remain in the community under the supervision of a Probation Officer. Adult Probationers are those whom the courts place on supervision in the community through probation, in lieu of incarceration.
- How did I end up on probation?
When an individual commits a crime and is arrested, they go to an arraignment then a preliminary hearing. If charges are not dismissed at the preliminary hearing, the case goes to trial. Following the trial is sentencing which will determine if the individual goes to prison, county jail, or gets placed on probation.
- I’ve been convicted, what happens now?
If the individual is in custody at the time of plea, a sentencing hearing will be set and the Probation Department will receive a referral from the Court. A Probation Officer will be assigned to complete the Pre-Sentence Report for the Court. The Court will make a determination, based on the report provided by the Probation Department, and other relevant information, as to whether a grant of probation or a State Prison/County Prison sentence is warranted.
If an individual enters a plea and is out of custody, they will be directed by the Court to contact the Probation Department. The defendant will be assigned to a Probation Officer from our Court Investigations unit. An interview will be conducted and the Court will make the determination, based on the report provided by the Probation Department and other relevant information, as to whether a grant of probation or a State Prison/County Prison sentence is warranted. If the defendant is granted probation they will be assigned a Probation Officer who will manage their case, review their probation Terms and Conditions, and begin their supervision.
- What can I expect while being supervised?
Supervision of individuals on formal probation varies according to the crime and caseload they are placed on. Terms and Conditions of Probation are set by the Butte County Superior Court on a case-by-case basis and are enforced by the supervising Probation Officer. Terms and conditions can include: routine office appointments, searches, travel restrictions, regular drug and alcohol testing, treatment program enrollment, weapons restrictions, and electric monitoring.
The Probation Department informs the court of an individual’s progress or difficulties under supervision.
It is the policy of the Butte County Probation Department to respect the privacy rights of individuals. Probation Officers conduct searches in strict observance of the constitutional rights of persons being searched. All seizures by Butte County Probation comply with relevant federal and state law governing the seizure of persons and property.
Law enforcement officers are granted the authority to perform their function based on established legal authority. Probation does not tolerate abuse of law enforcement authority.
Probation Officers implement and enforce the Conditions of Probation ordered by the court. When an offender fails to abide by the court’s orders, the supervising Probation Officer is responsible for returning the case to the court for further sentencing, which can entail returning the probationer to secure custody in jail.