Violations of Probation in Florida: What You Need to Know
Many criminals face probationary punishment after their release from jail or prison. The purpose of a probation sentence is to allow convicted offenders to reintegrate into society and live productive lives without the fear of being incarcerated again if they violate any laws.
If you live under a probation sentence, you need to understand the consequences of violating your terms. Violations can range from failing to meet certain conditions (e.g., not maintaining employment) or getting arrested and charged with new crimes while on parole (e.g., possession of drugs).
Violations of probation in Florida can have some severe consequences. Therefore, if you are accused of violating your probation, it is crucial to take action as quickly as possible.
In this article, we’ll talk about how a violation occurs and the different penalties resulting from such an event.
Types violations of Probation in Florida
The majority of probation violations in Florida come from a few common factual scenarios. These include new criminal charges, failed drug tests, not completing court-ordered programs.
Failure to pay fines, costs, or restitution
As a part of your probation, you may be ordered by the judge to make monthly payments towards certain damages, such as money owed. In addition, you may have to pay a specific cost to the state. Non-payment of fees is a common offense that warrants an immediate violation in Florida. If you cannot pay these fees for some reason, you should consult with a lawyer to see if there are any other options available that can get probation violations lifted.
Failing to attend any court-ordered counseling sessions
Another common probation violation is failing to attend any court-ordered counseling sessions. If you have missed a session or several, it may be grounds for an immediate probation violation. The judge will take your attendance into account when determining whether the VOP was warranted and what action should be taken due to this first infraction.
Engaging in prohibited activities
A third common probation violation is engaging in prohibited activities such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, contact with victims or witnesses without permission from a probation officer. If you have been accused of this type of violation, it may be grounds for an immediate VOP. With the help of a qualified lawyer, you can work to show your innocence and that you are unfairly accused.
Failing to appear for monthly progress reports
If you have failed to appear before the court for monthly progress reports, it can be considered a probation violation. This is another infraction that may result in immediate action being taken by the court.
Committing a New Crime
If you are accused of committing any new crimes while on probation, this too will likely lead to an immediate VOP. Even a minor violation of the law could be considered a probation violation.
Failing to report a change in residence
If you have left your required home for more than seven days without notifying the court, this too will likely lead to an immediate VOP.
What Are the Penalties for Violating Probation in Florida
If the judge finds that you committed a violation, they will have three options. According to section 948.06, Florida Statutes (2018), a judge can:
- Restore your probation
- Change your Probation Sentence; or
- Revoke the Probation and Impose jail time.
If you have violated your probation, the judge may revoke your probation, meaning that you will have to finish your sentence in prison. This may be the case if you were on probation for a misdemeanor crime or felony property offense and are convicted of committing another violation within two years after being released from jail or prison.
The judge may also add more restrictive terms and conditions to your probation to penalize you. In addition, the judge has the authority to increase the length of your probationary sentence.
How to defend a Violation of Probation Charge in Florida
If you have been accused of violating probation in Florida, the following information can help you with your defense.
Do not delay taking action: If someone accuses you of a violation and is motivated to make an allegation against you, do not take any chances. It is best that if there is even a small chance that someone is accusing you of a violation that you hire an attorney right away.
Take your time when responding to allegations: If someone accuses you of violating probation, then it may be tempting for the accused person’s and their first response will be anger and denial. However, this will not help them in any way. To deal with this, it is suggested that the accused person take their time before responding to any allegations of violating probation.
Talk with an attorney: An experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide insight into the best course of action when it comes to defending against violations, which often include negotiating a plea deal, challenging evidence, and building self-defense strategies for court proceedings.
Probation sentences are a way for offenders to re-enter society after serving their time in jail or prison. They allow the convicted person to live without fear of being incarcerated again if they violate any laws. The majority of probation violations come from new criminal charges, failed drug tests, and not completing court-ordered programs. If you’ve been charged with violating your probation sentence by committing another crime, don’t miss out on this opportunity! Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Marc A. Joseph today at (813) 234-637 for a free consultation.