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What Is The Purpose Of Probation?

What Is The Purpose Of Probation?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“What’s the purpose of probation?”

Andrew Dósa – Criminal Defense Attorney – Alameda County, CA

“Allright. The simple answer is that probation is designed, primarily, to allow the court system to not completely clog up the jails. After someone has served their sentence, or if they don’t have a sentence, the court wants to make sure they’re still taking seriously how they are supposed to conduct themselves. So, a person who gets arrested and gets charged, and works out a disposition, a deal, if that person goes to jail, they will come out and have a chance to function in society, have the freedom to enjoy the sun and fresh air every day. But the court, at that same time, is reminding that person, ‘we still have a hold of you’.

So, probation is primarily designed for the court to have a hold on somebody for a stretch of time into the future, with the idea you’re given a chance to stay out-of-custody, enjoy the freedom that we have, fresh air, sunshine, rain, whatever it may be. We’re all happier to get rain on us, than stuck inside, in jail, seeing rain outside. The courts want people to know, they want the defendants to know, that they be reminded of their behavior, and that behavior had some consequences. So, as a substitute to jail, probation may be available for a stretch of time. Typically, 3-5 years. Most misdemeanors probation terms are three. Most felony probation terms are five. Occasionally, you’ll get a shorter period of time depending upon the less serious nature of the crime. But the court really wants the defendant to know there is a leash on him or her, and for a stretch of time into the future they have to be aware they have to continue to conduct themselves well, and perhaps develop the habit of being out of trouble.”

If you’ve been charged with a crime, one of the things that you should think of is what type of defenses are available to you. There are different types of legal defenses available in criminal law, and the type of criminal defense applicable to you and your case will depend on your situation.

Criminal defense law consists of all the legal protections given to individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. In criminal court, the prosecutor must meet the burden of proof – that is, the responsibility of proving their allegations against the accused.

The police and prosecutors have plenty of resources at their disposal to go after someone and charge them with a crime. To balance the power within the justice system, certain protections are in place for the accused. These, and the skills and experience of a defense attorney will dictate how a defendant will be treated in criminal litigation.

An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to use constitutional laws for the benefit of their client. For instance, criminal prosecution is based upon the evidence gathered by law enforcers. This evidence can be in the form of physical evidence. This will usually consist of objects found in a crime scene, like a possible weapon, tire marks, shoe print, or even tiny pieces of fabric.

Common Defenses in a Criminal Case

There are many common defenses to criminal charges. You may argue that there are inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case against you, that the evidence gathered violated your constitutional rights, or that you had a justifiable reason for committing the crime. Below are some common primary criminal law defenses.


The defendant didn’t commit the crime you were charged for. The defense can provide an alibi proving you weren’t at the scene when the crime occurred, or present evidence and witnesses that can counter the prosecution’s case.


The defendant admits to using force. However, the defense argues that it’s justified since it was done in self-defense due to the violent and threatening actions of the other party.

Insanity Defense

The defendant may plead insanity to avoid being punished, since a criminal punishment is only justified if the offender has full control over their actions and understand that what they did was wrong.

Under Influence

In certain circumstances, a defendant may commit crimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This can be used as a criminal defense as if it affects the defendant’s mental functioning to the point where they cannot be held accountable for their actions.


If law enforcement officers caused the defendant to commit a crime that they wouldn’t have otherwise committed, then it’s considered entrapment and be used as a defense in criminal court.


Claiming innocence is one of the most basic defenses to criminal liability. You must remember that the prosecution has to prove the crime filed against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re innocent, you don’t have to prove anything, but you can provide documents, testimonies, or evidence that will support the claim that you’re innocent.

Constitutional Violation

A constitutional violation is a type of criminal defense used if the evidence collected by the prosecution was gathered in a manner that violated your constitutional rights. This can include the illegal search, entry, or seizure of your house, car, clothing, etc. Failing to obtain an entry warrant, getting an improper confession, or failing to read to you your “Miranda Rights” at the time of your arrest are also constitutional violations that could lead to suppression of evidence against you or the total dismissal of the case.

Defense of Others

Similar to self-defense, you can use this type of defense if you have used a justifiable amount of force or violence to protect others who are being threatened or are in danger.

Other types of criminal defenses include defense of property, necessity, involuntary/voluntary intoxication, mistake of law, coercion, abandonment, and the statute of limitations.

If you’re accused a crime in California, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why you need an experienced defense attorney on your side when you face your charges. With over 20 years of experience successfully defending clients in California, Andrew Dósa understands the unique challenges of criminal defense in Alameda, CA and other areas in California.

Contact Attorney:

Andrew Dosa

Andrew Dosa


Andrew Alexander Dósa is a trial attorney with more than 36 years of experience in civil/business litigation, criminal defense, personal injury claims, and estate planning.


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