One of the most positive outcomes of a drug charge case in Virginia is when probation has been allowed by the court. Judges have the power to place defendants on probation without any plea agreement, but this is not necessarily the final outcome when prosecutors are not in agreement. And while it is a much better outcome than going to jail, probation does not come without its requirements and potential additional conditions.
Most of those stipulations are set in law for those who were facing significant incarceration time and want to avoid going to jail with probation designation from the court. And even with the minimum requirements, judges can impose additional restrictions and penalties such as community service projects.
One of the first stipulations of probation stemming from drug crimes is regular reporting. Those who are first placed on probation will often need to contact their designated officer once per week when on intense supervision, which typically only applies at the beginning. When the probation officer feels comfortable that the probationary party is in compliance with all other requirements, the officer can recommend reducing the reporting intervals to once per month or even put them on paper report submission in certain cases.
Another common component of being placed on probation as part of a drug crimes case disposition is required regular drug testing. Individuals assigned to probation must stay clear of any drugs that are not prescribed, often including alcohol, and any testing that results in a positive reading could be the basis for probation revocation and incarceration for the assigned jail sentence. Most defendants placed on probation are also given a jail term that is replaced by a probation allowance from the court that is used as an incentive for compliance with probation requirements.
It is always vital for anyone convicted in a drug crimes case to follow court orders when they have been placed on probation. Virginia courts are serious about prosecuting drug cases, and probation is considered a privilege granted by the court that can be revoked for minimal reasons.