If you have faced criminal charges in the last few years and are currently on probation, you may have more reason than most to celebrate during the holiday season. After all, there may have been a time where you were at risk of losing your freedom. That tends to make people grateful for the life they’re living.
Enjoying the holidays and celebrating with the people you love is a joyful experience. Don’t let your excitement lead you to make decisions that will make this holiday season unforgettable for sad reasons for you and the people who love you.
Mistakes you make during the holiday season while celebrating with friends or family could leave you vulnerable to allegations of a probation violation and the potential loss of your freedom that comes with said violations.
Be careful about whom you socialize with
Probation generally involves a number of restrictions on your activities. While you aren’t in jail, you must be vigilant about your behavior while on probation. You have to be ready to report to your probation officer about your activities, employment and other court-mandated actions, such as community service or therapy.
If you go to your probation meeting and the officer discovers that you attended social gatherings where there was someone else present with a criminal record or pending criminal charges, you may very well wind up in violation of the terms of your probation. It is common for the state to restrict your right to socialize only to those who are in current good legal standing with the state, meaning it is a violation to spend time with those convicted of or charged with a crime.
Drinking during celebrations can be problematic
Depending on what the charges were that you initially faced, the terms of your probation may include a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol. Sometimes, people can have terms that include restrictions on being present in places where alcohol gets served, including bars or restaurants.
A rowdy party with drinks may also be dangerously close to a probation violation, depending on the terms set in your specific case. Binge drinking and social drinking are very common during holiday celebrations. It is almost always best to err on the side of caution and avoid alcohol at parties while you are on probation.
Family disputes that lead to altercations may violate your probation
Staying out of legal trouble is a key component of complying with the terms of your probation. Unfortunately, families and loved ones can sometimes provoke people to do irresponsible things.
If you have a standing grudge with one of your cousins or get into a political argument with an uncle, any aggression that follows a verbal argument could result in assault charges and the violation of your probation. Keeping things topical and light at gatherings is a good idea in general, but especially when you need to avoid conflict to protect yourself.