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Rules of Probation in Wisconsin

WI Standard Rules of Supervision

Probation allows defendants to complete their sentence outside of jail or prison. Rather than spending time behind bars, defendants can be placed on probation, which is community-based supervision. To access this privilege, a judge may impose several terms and conditions of a defendant’s probation to ensure they do not re-offend or pose a threat to their community.

There are two ways probation can be granted:

  1. Sentence withheld, placed on probation means you do not have to go to prison or jail but instead be placed under the Department of Correction’s supervision. If you violate the rules of your probation, you will be required to go to court for sentencing.
  2. Sentence imposed and stayed, placed on probation means you must go to jail or prison for a certain amount of time but while you are serving time, a judge may suspend, or stay, your sentence and place you on probation instead. As mentioned above, if you violate the rules of your probation, you will serve the sentence imposed by the court. However, you will not return to court to hear your sentence.

Probation is a highly desirable alternative to incarceration, but with great privilege comes great responsibility. In Wisconsin, people who are placed on probation, or community supervision, must comply with several rules. However, it is important to be mindful that such conditions may vary on a case-by-case basis.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections imposes the following rules of community supervision:

  • Do not break any federal or state statutes, municipal or county ordinances, tribal law, or act against the best interest of the public welfare or your rehabilitation.
  • Report all arrests or police contact to your agent within 72 hours.
  • Make every effort to accept the opportunities and cooperate with counseling offered during supervision to align with the identified case plan goals. Refusal to authorize the exchange and disclosure of information between the department and any court-ordered or agent-directed program shall be considered a violation of this rule.
  • Inform your agent of your whereabouts and activities as they direct.
  • Submit a written report monthly and any other such relevant information as directed by DCC staff.
  • Be available for searches including, but not limited to, residence, property, computer, cell phone or other electronic device under your control.
  • Be available for tests and comply with ordered tests by your agent including, but not limited to, urinalysis, breathalyzer, DNA collection and blood samples.
  • Obtain approval from your agent prior to changing residence or employment. If it’s an emergency, notify your agent of the change within 72 hours.
  • Obtain approval and a travel permit from your agent prior to leaving the State of Wisconsin.
  • Obtain written approval from your agent prior to purchasing, trading, selling or operating a motor vehicle.
  • Obtain approval from your agent prior to borrowing money or purchasing on credit.
  • Pay court-ordered obligations and monthly supervision fees as directed by your agent and comply with any department and/or vendor procedures regarding payment of fees.
  • Get permission from your agent prior to purchasing, possessing, owning or carrying a firearm or other weapon, or ammunition, including incapacitating agents. You may not be granted permission to possess a firearm if it’s prohibited under federal or state law.
  • Do not vote in any federal, state or local election if you are a convicted felon until you have successfully completed the terms and conditions of your felony sentence and your civil rights have been restored.
  • Abide by all rules of any detention or correctional facility in which you may be confined.
  • Provide true, accurate, and complete information in response to inquiries by DOC staff.
  • Report as directed for scheduled and unscheduled appointments.
  • Comply with any court-ordered conditions and/or any additional rules established by your agent, which may be modified at any time.

Our Milwaukee criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella understands that this extensive list of conditions can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why we strongly advise you to reach out to us to get your questions answered by a seasoned and qualified professional. As experienced legal advocates, we can interpret your probation rules and explain them in an understandable yet comprehensive way so you can better avoid going to jail.

We are happy to help you succeed and avoid incarceration by providing effective legal counsel in your case. Please contact us at (414) 882-8382 today! Our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer looks forward to hearing from you.