How to Successfully Complete a Sentence of Probation
Professional Probation Services
Autauga County uses a private probation (collection) service in order to collect fines and court costs in a timely manner.
If you do not pay your fines in full on the day of Court, chances are you will be sentenced to a term of probation with PPS.
You will be reporting to PPS to pay fines and costs. This service is separate from any other probation you are currently on.
In theory, your fines are DUE IN FULL on this date. Therefore, your case begins on this date and most cases will begin making monthly payments within 10 days of sentencing.
Reporting to PPS
You must report to us each time you are given an appointment.
All defendant's on probation are assigned an appointment – even if you are just on with us for payment of minor tickets.
Generally, your appointment is written on your receipt each time you pay.
Each time you miss an appointment with PPS, that missed appointment is logged in your notes. If we have to report to court to speak with a Judge about violations, missed appointments will be used against you in Court!
If you are assigned to PPS, you are on a SUPERVISED PROBATION UNTIL WE TELL YOU OTHERWISE.
You must report IN PERSON and make your own payments unless you speak with Mrs. Marshall and get prior approval to send someone else in to pay for you. You are required to handle your own legal matters.
Office Hours and Location
The office is located at 1028 East Main Street. It is directly across from Dr. Paul Elzey's office and beside what used to be Mo Money Tax Service.
If you travel up Main Street, make a right onto Wingard Street and a right into the PPS parking lot.
The office hours are Monday-Friday; 9 am to Noon and 1 pm until 4:30 pm.
We take lunch promptly at 12:00 and will not open our doors back until 1pm – even if we are in the office eating. This is the same schedule that the Courthouse keeps and it is easier on our staff to designate a one hour period for lunch.
Our doors are locked PROMPTLY at 4:30 pm. We are monitored by a security camera in our GA corporate office and are not allowed to open the doors after we close at 4:30 pm.
Behavior in the PPS office
The PPS staff will treat you will respect and honesty and be professional at all times.
We expect each defendant to adhere to CONDITION #4 on their sentence sheet which states “behave in a respectful and truthful manner at all times with PPS staff”.
We recognize that a sentence of probation can be inconvenient, and at times financially difficult. It is important for you to recognize that our staff members do not have a personal vendetta against you as the defendant. We are simply required to steer you in the right direction in order to complete the requirements of your sentence. If we tell you “if you do not report a warrant is being issued” that only means that we are following the guidelines set forth in our Standard Operating Procedure.
If a defendant behaves in a disruptive or verbally abusive manner while in the PPS office, a Court hearing will be set and probation revoked. This includes family members that report on your behalf.
Payments and Due Dates
Payments are due within the first 2 weeks of each month.
You must report on your scheduled appointment date even if you do not have the full payment.
If you cannot make the full payment, we prefer for you to pay at least ½ of the payment and you will be scheduled weekly until the arrearage is caught up.
If you cannot afford to make your payment, you must report for the appointment to discuss the matter with a PO.
Payments can be made with Cash or Money Order. If you pay cash, you must bring the amount you intend to pay. We are not allowed to make change in the office.
No personal money orders that are drawn off bank accounts are accepted. Acceptable money orders are Wal-mart, Post Office, Gas Station money orders.
If you get a check the first week of the month, your payment will be due the 1 st Friday of every month.
Otherwise, payments are due by the 2 nd Friday of each month.
Know Your Rights! -Taken from the Misdemeanor Probation Handout created by The Law Office of the Southern Center for Human Rights-
The best way to protect your rights while on probation is to take your probation requirements seriously and comply with your probation officers instructions! Even if you are placed on probation for a minor offense, you can be jailed for failing to fulfill probation conditions.
Always report to probation! Many people fail to report to probation after the first few appointments. Not reporting to probation can land you in jail. Always report to probation, even if you do not have all the money that you owe.
You must make efforts to find employment and pay as much as you can. “Willfull” failure to pay can result in jail.
If you cannot afford to pay your fines, it is your responsibility to provide the probation department with written documentation to support your financial hardship (ie. Copies of check stubs, bills, SSI).
If you do not have the whole amount, pay as much as you can.
PPS charges a MONTHLY probation fee each month that you are on supervised probation. This IS NOT a one-time fee.
PPS fees run from the 1 st to the 31st. Therefore, each time a new month rolls around – a new fee is due.
Fees will be added to your monthly payment. If the Judge orders you to pay $100 per month, then your monthly payment will actually be $135 per month. The Judge's are aware of this.
The payment that you are given is a MINIMUM PAYMENT. We encourage you to pay as much as possible each time you make a payment, in order, to pay off your fines as quickly as possible.
Most individuals on supervised probation can pay in full and be transferred to unsupervised probation (with the exception of drug and alcohol cases, or otherwise sentenced to remain on PPS). You can come by the office to get a payoff balance at anytime.
We charge $15 each time a random drug screen is given.
Must be actively seeking work in order to avoid probation revocation hearing.
Must be registered and active with the Career Center in Montgomery, Al.
Must turn in a “Record of Work Search” each week with at least 10 locations where he/she has applied for employment.
Failure to look for work will not be tolerated if the defendant is behind on payments.
PPS can assist you with your job search but we CANNOT do all the work for you.
PPS will not “call someone” and ask them if you applied, you must submit your written documentation.
# 1 – Pay a monthly probation fee of $35. It is added to your monthly payment.
# 2 – Pay a monthly fine payment which is generally $50 or $100 per defendant.
If you have Traffic Cases and District Court cases, you must make a payment for each division. Therefore, if you are ordered $50 per month and have TR and DC, then your payment is $135 per month.
# 3 – Do not get any new charges while on with PPS or you can be violated.
# 4 – Report as directed and be respectful.
Please address the staff as you would the Judge. Your behavior is on camera.
# 5 – Be employed as may be possible.
If unemployed, you must be actively seeking work.
# 6 – Don't change addresses or phone numbers unless you notify our staff in writing.
Many defendant's relocated on a regular basis and fail to update their address and phone numbers. We have been taught to issue a warrant if we get mail returned to us!!!!
#10 – do not drive without a valid drivers license.
We are required to document and notify local police if we witness a person driving without a license.
PPS has a specific method of handling missed appointments that is part of our contract with the District Court.
Sometimes, we can simply make a phone call to let you know you missed an appointment.
We are required to call ALL numbers given to us during intake.
Let your family/friends know you gave us their number.
If you fail to report to the follow-up appointment, we are supposed to have a warrant issued for your arrest!
Make sure that you don't miss appointments with our office.
We consider our office to be a “safe zone” which means our staff will not call law enforcement out to enforce a warrant if you report to our office. Typically, we only have disruptive defendants arrested or removed from our office. Do not hesitate to report to work out what you need on your case to complete your file.
We are required to issue warrants if you miss repeated appointments, get new charges, have mail returned.
Once a warrant is issued, you are generally required to pay a case in full to have the warrant recalled. If a warrant is issued on your case, give Mrs. Marshall a call to find out what you need to do or report to the office and we will tell you in person. Again, you will not be arrested for reporting to our office.
We will not give out information to family members regarding a warrant case unless your are already in Custody.
If arrested, you cannot bond out on a violation of probation warrant. You will have to pay all Probation Fees, Fines, and Warrant fees to be released.
Drug & Alcohol Charges
Certain charges are required to meet with Court Referral Program as required by Alabama Law.
Mrs. Harrel will meet with you during Court and you will need to keep your appointments with her just like with PPS.
If you change your address/phone number, make sure you update her office as well at 361-2911.
It is possible to have a warrant issued for your arrest by Court Referral even if you are making payments.
You must comply with all parts of your sentence to stay out of trouble!
You will now complete Court intake with Mrs. Smith, Administrative Assistant for PPS.
You will need to PRINT LEGIBLY all information on the intake sheet.
Don't forget to put the City/State/Zip Code for your address.
Please print the area code with your phone number.
List at least 2 emergency contacts that do not live with you. We contact these people if you miss an appointment.
Please list your email address – if you have one. A lot of people will move but still check their email address. This will help us keep you in compliance.
You will be asked to sign a Sentence Sheet. The information on the sheet has been detailed in this slide show with the exception of your monthly payment and jail time.
Please sign the sheet and Mrs. Smith will give you a copy.
Sometimes, we do not have a balance on the day of court – check with us next week for a balance.
End of Presentation
This is the end of the presentation. If you did not start at the beginning, continue watching until you get to your starting point. The slide show is roughly 15 minutes long.
After you have viewed the slide show, let Mrs. Smith know and she will start the intake process.
Thank you .............Sandy Marshall, Office Manager