If the Judge has the option whether to send a defendant to jail, and to decide how long the Defendant will spend in custody. On the most serious cases, the Judge can incarcerate a Defendant for up to three years for each crime, for a total of 9 years.

If the Judge at sentencing decides to place a Defendant on probation, he or she will be released from custody and ordered to report to the probation department. Probation may order the Defendant to have no contact with the victim, commit no crimes, complete community service, attend school, seek and obtain full time employment, enter into drug or alcohol treatment, attend counseling, and pay restitution and fines. The length of probation depends on the seriousness of the crime and the needs of the defendant. If a Defendant who is placed on probation does not follow the rules set out by the probation officer, they may be violated from probation and sent to jail. Defendants who follow all the rules set out by the probation officer and who do not commit more crimes, will be successfully terminated from probation.

Defendants who successfully complete probation and those who serve their time in custody and commit no crimes for several years after being released may ask to have any civil rights that were lost restored and to have their conviction set aside. Those who have made positive changes can have a clean record for getting employment.