The most important factors that are considered when a judge is deciding whether to give someone probation are the nature of the crime committed and the background of the person involved. Basically, the more serious the crime, the less likely one is to receive probation. There are typically statutes that specify which crimes may not result in a sentence as light as probation. Judges will also consider the background of the defendant. Someone who has previously led a law-abiding and productive life is much more likely to get probation than someone who has a criminal record and no solid record of being an asset to the community.