While probation is often preferable to going to jail, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook entirely. The state will still set a high standard for you, and just how long you’re in for this treatment is up to the court.

Most misdemeanors charges will result in probation for at least six months but not over two years. There are exceptions to the rule, and the court can adjust your timeline along the way.

Setting terms

The courts will take several things into consideration when assigning time:

  • Reasonable and appropriate: The circumstances will determine how long you’re looking at probation. A judge will have to give reasons for how long your term will last, along with special conditions you’ll have to follow while serving your time.
  • Consecutive sentences: While there are general limits for probation, additional time can be tacked on. If you’re already on probation or have multiple charges at once, you could be dealing with more than two years.
  • Extensions: Your time isn’t over until you’ve reached the end. The court can extend your order and modify your conditions with good reason. They can change your terms at any point before your successful completion.

Early release

While you could face an extended sentence, you could get a shortened term as long as you meet the requirements:

  • Served at least half your probation period
  • Met all terms and conditions set for probation
  • Paid all your financial debts to the victims, courts and department

Probation sentencing has guidelines, but the exact terms can vary from case to case. Make sure you understand what can affect your timeline when you’re facing supervision.