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Learn about pretrial supervision

This program allows some people accused of a crime to stay at home - and keep working and caring for their families while they wait for their trial.

What is pretrial supervision?

It’s a program for people who have been accused of a crime but haven’t gone to court yet. It’s sometimes called “pretrial.”

Instead of getting arrested, booked, and waiting for your trial in jail - or paying bail to get out - you go home instead. You may be able to avoid having a police record.

What’s the advantage of pretrial supervision?

Pretrial supervision is a new solution that:

  • Keeps communities safe
  • Is more fair
  • Keeps people out of the justice system who don’t need to be in it
  • Allows people accused of a crime to keep living their lives until their trial

Under the old system, people accused of a crime might have to wait in jail until their trial. Or, they might take out big loans to pay bail. They’d also have a police record.

Many people would lose their homes and jobs. They would get cut off from their families and communities. It could be hard for them to get their lives back on track after the trial.

What happens during pretrial supervision?

You’ll work closely with a probation officer. They are there to help you:

  • Accept responsibility for the mistake you made
  • Answer your questions
  • Help you get the services you need
  • Make sure you don’t miss your court date

Learn more about working with a probation officer

During this time, you’ll also have to follow the rules of your pretrial agreement. The rules depend on the person and the situation. But you might need to:

  • Check in with a probation officer
  • Get therapy or counseling
  • Get help with substance abuse
  • Stay away from certain places or people

Who gets to be on pretrial supervision?

The court will decide if you're a good fit for pretrial supervision. They will consider:

  • If you have a history of not showing up in court or not following a court order
  • Your family situation (for example, whether you have children or other dependents who count on you)
  • The kind of support you get from your family or community

What happens if you break the rules of pretrial supervision?

It depends. Some people may wind up getting arrested and wait for a trial in jail.

What happens after pretrial supervision?

Your pretrial supervision ends when you have a court date.


Page updated March 25, 2024