Term Lengths of Probation in North Carolina

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Term lengths of probation in North Carolina – Typically, when someone is convicted of a crime in North Carolina or pleads guilty, there is either an order of probation, or a sentence of imprisonment (sometimes both). When someone is convicted of a crime and probation is ordered, there is a wide range on how long that person will be on probation and what that will look like.  One of the first questions that people tend to ask about probation is “how long will I be on probation if that’s what I get?” That question has many potential answers. In this blog, we will discuss some of those answers.

In this blog, we will cover the length of terms of probation under North Carolina criminal law. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

How long will I be on probation?

Like most legal questions, it depends.  The length of time a criminal defendant will be on probation initially depends on what the judge orders.  The judge’s order will be based on the level the crime, the recommendations of the state and the defense, and other considerations.  It is important to note, however, that someone may end with a different amount of time on probation, based on their performance on probation and some other factors.

How different factors affect the term lengths of probation

Several factors affect the length of time actually or probation including but not limited to the following:

  • Whether you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor – Generally the shortest time you can be on probation for a Misdemeanor is 6 months and the longest you can on probation is 18 months. With felonies, the minimum term of probation is 12 months and the maximum term is 5 years.
  • Whether or not you adhere to the terms of probation – One of the consequences of probation violations is the extension of time in which you would be required to be on probation. Because of this, there are some people who were sentenced to two years of probation and ended up doing an extra year or two.
  • Whether you can successfully terminate probation early – There are times that someone is on probation and the length of time will be determined by the length of times to adhere to certain conditions or terms. Further, you can petition the court to terminate probation early if you have completed all the necessary requirements and paid all applicable fees.

Criminal law can be extremely complicated. If you have been charged with a crime, you should hire an attorney.


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