Probation is a criminal sentence where a convicted individual is not subject to confinement in jail or prison but is still under court supervision. Probation is given in lieu of jail/prison and comes with several conditions, often times very strict and onerous conditions. It is not matter of right but more akin to a privilege which is fully revocable by the court in the event that the probationer does not meet the conditions of probation.
The mission of the New Mexico Corrections Department, Probation and Parole Division (PPD) is to help probationers to address the underlying causes of their criminal activity in an effort to avoid subsequent offenses. To achieve this, the PPD takes a two- sided approach to probation, on the one hand enforcing the conditions of probation and on the other, providing probationers with assistance in the rehabilitative process.
An offender is most often subject to Standard Probation Supervision along with special conditions particular to each case, including restitution, community service and a various counseling relevant to the alleged crime. In addition to this, many offenders are assigned to special programs under which they must comply with additional stricter conditions. Currently, in addition to standard probation, the PPD has three special programs: Intense Supervision, Community Corrections and Drug Courts.
It is up to the judge if, when, where and how an individual will be allowed probation in lieu of incarceration. However, the decision of the judge will rely on the input from the prosecutor and the criminal defense attorney. As such, input from an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to enhance the conditions of both being allowed probation as well as minimizing the severity of the many conditions that may be placed on that probation.