Can I really go to jail for forgetting to finish my class, community service, or making payments on time?
Yes, when the judge sentences you to probation, even if it is informal probation, they have the right to impose part of or the maximum amount of jail time allowed for your sentence, if you fail to meet ANY of the terms of your probation. This means that the judge can impose the maximum jail term for something as small as being a few days late on your payments or forgetting to come to court to show completion of your court ordered classes.
For example if you plead guilty to a DUI which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail, and the judge sentence you to zero days of jail, then the judge can impose part of or the entire amount of that 6 months should you fail to meet any of the terms of your probation. So being one day late on your payment can get you as much as 6 months in jail.
Should you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, it is important to have a criminal defense attorney capable of handling the situation without having you go to jail. Such an attorney would have to be very familiar with the local judge and courthouse; they would know what you would have to do ahead of time in order to avoid incurring the wrath of the judge.
At Wallin and Klarich our attorneys are very experienced in handling all phases of the criminal process including post-plea matters such as probation violations.