For those looking for a way to get their probation terminated early, take a lesson from Paris Hilton. Paris showed up in court yesterday and impressed the court by showing that she had done all that the court asked her to do...and more!
Paris was arrested on August 28, 2010, for possession of cocaine and impeding justice. On September 20, 2010, she pled guilty to both charges and was sentenced to one year in jail. The jail sentence was suspended as long as she did not violate the terms of her probation. Those terms were to pay a $2,000 fine to the court, perform 200 hours of community service, complete an "intensive" substance abuse program, and stay out of trouble.
Exactly one year later on September 20, 2011, Paris returned to court for a progress hearing. The judge terminated her probation and closed her case. Here are all the things she did right:
- She obtained an attorney
- She took full responsibility for her actions
- She dressed for court appropriately
- She was respectful to the judge
- She was on time and present for all hearings
- She took the hearings seriously
- She paid the fines imposed by the court
- She performed 228 hours of community service
- She completed the intensive substance abuse program
- She stayed out of trouble
Notice that she went well over her 200 hour community service requirement. By doing so, she showed her better side to the court. Had she squeaked in just the number of hours required and not a moment more, the judge would not have been nearly as impressed. By going above and beyond, she convinced the judge that she had taken him seriously and had made positive changes to her behavior.
Being on probation means that you are going through a time in your life where your actions are under scrutiny from the court, and when one slip could land you in jail. You can minimize the length of time you stay on probation by following Paris Hilton's example: be respectful of the court, comply to the requirements fully and promptly, and keep out of trouble.