Pre-Trial Probation Law and Legal Definition

Pre-trial probation is an agreement between the government and the defendant that occurs before a trial or other final disposition, though the actual probation itself is administered and monitored by the probation department. Pre-trial probation requires that the defendant be placed on either supervised or unsupervised probation for a specified time period before criminal conviction is entered. It will benefit the defendant as the defendant’s case will be temporarily removed from the court docket list and then effectively dismissed provided the defendant successfully completes the probationary period. If the defendant violates any of the general or specific terms and conditions of the pre-trial probation, stated in a pre-trial probation contract the case would then revert back to the docket list and proceed in the ordinary course of business.

The parties should present the proposed agreement for pre-trial probation for the court's approval. The court may either grant or deny a request for pre-trial probation and otherwise effectively compel the parties to reach another resolution of the matter, whether by dismissal, plea bargain or trial. Pre-trial probation is granted on a case-by-case basis and is not available in many instances.