Whether you are in the pre-sentencing stage or have been convicted of a crime, the judge may have opted to put you on probation as opposed to imprisonment. There are certain legal restrictions that you will have to observe such as abstaining from the illegal use of drugs, not carrying a firearm, and refraining from getting into any additional legal trouble of any kind.
Perhaps you've been arrested on a minor criminal charge. Your court date is coming soon and some people you talk to say it won't matter if you have a good lawyer or not, since you're an "upstanding citizen" and got your degree. The judge will probably go softer on you, they say. Is that really true?