When thinking about the mandatory terms and conditions of probation it’s important to first understand that, according to Michigan Compiled Laws, section 771.4, the granting of probation is a matter of grace. In other words, probation is a privilege, not a right.
Furthermore, this legislative idea of probation being a matter “grace” extended to you by the court is further expressed in Michigan Compiled Laws, section 771.1, which indicates that to be placed on probation, the court must first determine that you are not likely to again engage in any offensive or criminal conduct. Additionally, the court must believe that the public good does not require that you “suffer the penalty imposed by law,” meaning the public good does not require the court to sentence you to jail or prison.
If you are “lucky” enough to be given a term of probation, Michigan Compiled Laws 771.3 sets forth all of the mandatory conditions of probation. This list includes the following:
- You shall not violate any criminal law of Michigan, the United States, or another state or any ordinance of any municipality in Michigan or another state.
- You shall not leave the state of Michigan without the consent of the court.
- You must report to your probation officer, either in person or in writing, monthly or as often as your probation officer requires.
- You must also pay supervision fees, restitution, probation oversight fees and minimum state costs.
There are many additional permissive terms of probation. These are terms that are possible, but that are not mandatory. The permissive terms and conditions of probation are as follows:
- The court can order you to complete some form of community service. Statutes often set forth ranges of community service as part of the applicable sanctions. For example, for a first offense drunk driving in Michigan, the court may order up to 360 hours of community service. For other types of drunk driving convictions, community service is mandatory. For example, a child endangerment drunk driving offense requires between 30 and 90 days of community service.
- The court can also order you to attend and complete inpatient or outpatient substance use therapy or drug court participation
- That you participate in mental health treatment.
- That you be involved in a community corrections program(s).
- That you be subject to house arrest and/or electronic monitoring.
- That you be involved in a residential probation program.
- If have not finished high school, then the court can order you to finish high school or obtain a general education development (GED) certificate.
- The court may impose other lawful conditions of probation as the circumstances of the case require or warrant or as in its judgment are proper. This very broad catch-all provision is the part that allows a court to order drug and alcohol testing, during the period of probation. If drugs or alcohol were involved in the commission of your crime, or in cases like drunk driving, an element of the crime, most courts will order regular or at least random testing during the period of probation. Courts vary considerably regarding the type and frequency of drug or alcohol treatment ordered.
Your failure to complete any or all the terms of conditions exactly as ordered can result in your probation being revoked, which may lead to incarceration. If you’ve been placed on probation in Michigan then it is important for you to do everything possible to satisfy the court. If you are having difficulty with anything the court has ordered, then be sure to discuss this with your probation officer.