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What are probation rules?

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Quick Answer

The rules of probation vary among states and are regulated by federal and state laws. Payment of fines, community service, counseling and completion of a court-ordered drug and alcohol program are some of the most common requirements of probation, according to the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute.

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Full Answer

In most cases, the court assigns the defendant to a probation officer to enforce the rules of probation, explains Cornell University Law School. According to 18 U.S. Code § 3563, the mandatory rules of probation state the defendant may not commit another federal, state or local crime or illegally possess a controlled substance; he must comply with the collection of a DNA sample and submit a drug screen in compliance with the court. Defendants convicted of a sex crime are required to register and adhere to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The defendants of violent crimes must attend a rehabilitation program approved by the court and within the guidelines set by the State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The court has other discretionary conditions and rules to probation. The defendant is required to maintain satisfactory employment, support his dependents, abstain from drugs and alcohol and refrain from the use, possession and ownership of a firearm or destructive devices, notes Cornell University Law School. More severe crimes often require the defendant stay nights, weekends and other periods of time at a residence controlled by the Bureau of Prisons.

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