Probation Frequently Asked Questions
Oakland County, MichiganCourts48th District CourtProbation Frequently Asked Questions

Probation Frequently Asked Questions

Below are Frequently Asked Questions regarding 48th District Court Probation Department. For a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions for the entire 48th District Court, visit our FAQ page.

What is probation?

  • Probation is granted by the presiding judge and is a sentence that allows the offender to reside in their community under the supervision of a probation officer. This decision is issued after careful study of the offender's background behavior, and potential for success.

What is a probation officer and what do they do?

  • A probation officer is an officer of the court who investigates, supervises and reports on the conduct of offenders (probationer) who are on probation. The probation officers are responsible for conducting pre-sentence investigations and alcohol assessments, as well as Probation Violation Hearings.

What purpose does probation serve?

  • The purpose of Probation is to engage the offender in aggressive alternative programs available through the probation department and in the community that educates and rehabilitates certain eligible offenders at the time of sentencing. These programs are designed to specifically target and rehabilitate the probationer's violation behavior. The Probation Department provides both investigation and supervision services to the 48th Judicial District Court. The Department deals exclusively with individuals age 17 and over.

What happens if I violate my probation?

  • The probationer will be required to appear before the court for a "probation violation" hearing.

What are my rights at a probation violation hearing?

  • You have the right to provide evidence that you have complied with the judge's order. You also have the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court may appoint one for you.

What is the burden of proof?

  • The burden of proof at a hearing is a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, where the prosecutor must show that it is more likely than not that the probationer violated the terms of his probation.

What happens if I am convicted of a probation violation?

  • If a person is convicted of a probation violation, the court may revoke probation, impose incarceration or impose probation with additional conditions.

What is a show cause hearing?

  • If you are ordered to appear before the court for a "show cause" hearing, you must appear before the judge on the date stated in the show cause order. If possible, you should bring with you to court all documents that support your position, such as receipts, canceled checks, or similar evidence that you can use to substantiate that you did obey the court's earlier order. If you do not attend the show cause hearing, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. A failure to appear may cause the court to suspend your license.

What is a bench warrant and when is one issued?

  • A bench warrant authorizes the immediate on-sight arrest of the individual subject to the bench warrant. A bench warrant is issued as a result of that person's failure to appear at the appointed time and date for a mandated court appearance. Bench warrants may be issued in either criminal or civil proceedings. Commonly (but not always), the person who is subject to a bench warrant has intentionally avoided a court appearance. If a person was on bond awaiting criminal trial when the non-appearance took place, the court usually revokes bond and sets a new (usually higher) bond amount to be paid when the subject is re-arrested.

What is the court's policy regarding fines and costs?

  • Pursuant to MCR 1.110, fines, costs and other financial obligations imposed by the court must be paid at the time of assessment.

Why are psychological evaluations done?

  • The main purpose of the evaluation is to provide the Court with information and to make recommendations regarding the person evaluated. The report usually covers areas such as: a) what is going on mentally and emotionally with the person evaluated; b) what are the special needs of the person, if any, which should be addressed; and c) what would be an appropriate treatment and/or placement plan decision.

What is the reasons for referral to A.A.?

  • Alcoholics Anonymous┬« is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; they are self-supporting through their own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Their primary purpose is to help people stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. You may download a Brief Guide to A.A. Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings may be a condition of probation. Below are telephone numbers and website addresses in order to find local meetings. There is also a downloadable form that must be filled out at each meeting attended.

    Alcoholics Anonymous
    Hotline: 248-332-3521

    Narcotics Anonymous:
    Hotline: 248-543-7200

What is Pretrial Services?

  • Pretrial Services involves investigators who interview defendants with felony or misdemeanor arrests in order to gather and verify information for release eligibility. The information is compiled into a written report, which is made available to the court, including the judge, defense attorney, prosecutor and probation officer.

What is A.A.P.?

  • Alcohol Awareness Program: Education on legal, medical and addictive aspects of alcohol use for first offense drunk drivers.

What is S.O.A.P.?

  • Significant Other Awareness Program: Education on process of addiction and predictable responses of loved ones for those exhibiting serious problems.

What is N.E.A.T.?

  • New Education Awareness Training: Intensive education for the defendant with more than one drunk driving conviction.

What is the MIP program?

  • Minor In Possession Program: Intensive education program for defendants that are minors. This program uses special techniques to enhance the participant's knowledge of substance abuse and its impact.