Will I go to jail or get a second chance?

DETAILS

I am on probation for misdemeanor marijuana possession. I took a home test today and it came up positive. I have to drug test on Monday. This is my first offence. Is it any way I would be able to get a second chance or house arrest instead of jail time?

ANSWER

First, that will depend on your probation officer. He/she is going to drug test you on Monday and the results will be positive. At that point, the probation officer will either file a complaint against you for violating probation or he/she will decide not to file the complaint. If your probation officer him/herself gives you another chance, you are VERY lucky.

However, it is more likely that as soon as your drug test comes back positive, the probation officer, through the DA’s office, will file a complaint against you. Then you will be brought before the judge and you will be facing the same potential consequences as you were when you were initially charged.

If your probation was going well other than the positive drug test, your judge may be lenient and give you another shot. This is very judge-dependent.

So, it would be wise to speak to an attorney that practices in your jurisdiction and in front of your judge. The public defender office (if your state has one), would know the answer to this right away because those folks see hundreds of probation revocations every day and they will know your judge’s sentencing tendencies.

In my jurisdiction, almost every judge would give people a second chance on probation – but definitely not a third.