What Is Violation of Probation?
Although you are innocent until proven guilty in the criminal justice system, when it comes to probation, this principle plays out a little differently than when you are facing criminal charges.
In probation hearings, where your freedom is on the line:
- You have no right to a jury trial
- There is no statute of limitations for your violation
- Hearsay is admissible against you
Additionally, being found guilty of a violation requires less proof than the reasonable-doubt standard of criminal trials.
Technical Violation of Probation
Technical violations of probation include anything that violates the conditions of your probation except for the commission of another crime.
For example, if you were on probation for writing bad checks and were told to provide restitution, the failure to do so would be a technical violation.
Substantive Violation of Probation
Substantive violations of probation are typically more severe than technical violations. A substantive violation occurs when you commit a new crime while on probation. For example, if you’re on probation for domestic violence and commit larceny, you have committed a substantive probation violation.
Keep in mind that getting arrested for a crime does not necessarily mean you have committed a substantive probation violation. If the charges are later dropped, or you’re acquitted at trial, then there’s a chance your probation won’t be affected, especially with a seasoned probation violation lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, on the case.
Types of Probation
There are a few different types of probation you may encounter in the Florida criminal justice system. They include:
General probation is a form of standard probation where you fulfill certain conditions and regularly meet with a probation officer.
With this form of probation, you still fulfill certain conditions but are not required to meet with a probation officer.
Community Control Probation I & II
These are restrictive forms of probation that require you to be limited to a specified residence with, in some cases, supervised custody.
Sex Offender Probation
A conviction for sex-related crimes may require this type of probation, which includes a mandated treatment plan. Sex offenders may also be placed on a specific type of community control probation for sex offenders.
Drug Offender Probation
Drug offender probation includes a strict, mandated course of treatment after serving time for drug offenses.
No matter what type of probation you receive, a probation violation lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, is essential to your defense if you are ever charged with violating your probation.
Violation of Probation Attorney in St. Petersburg, FL
Whenever the criminal justice system is involved, you need legal representation. With a probation violation lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, handling your defense, you stand a chance to improve your case’s outcome.
Remember, it is crucial to obtain qualified legal representation in most criminal matters as soon as possible. If your probation officer has notified you that you have a potential violation, then contact a probation violation lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, as soon as you can, so your case can get immediate legal attention.
Common Probation Violations in Florida
When you’re on probation, your life has already been turned upside down. Because of this, probation violations are common, especially technical ones.
Typical technical violations include:
- Missing appointments with a probation officer
- Showing up late to meet your probation officer
- Changing your address without permission or notice
- Leaving the jurisdiction without permission
- Missing payments or failing to pay fines, court costs, or restitution
Technical violations, also known as technicalities, are common. Yet, they can have disastrous consequences, which makes asking a probation violation lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, to handle your hearing a wise decision.
Dirty Urine (Positive Drug Test) Probation Violations
The most common probation violation is for a positive drug test. Almost all probation agreements involve drug monitoring, and passing “dirty urine” is a clear violation of terms that can lead to big problems.
The good news is that, unlike in decades past, a positive drug test is no longer a guaranteed ticket to months in the county jail. Particularly if it’s the first time you have failed a urinalysis, a judge may be willing to offer you an alternative sanction program that might include drug counseling, a curfew, or other stipulations short of incarceration.
It’s essential to speak with a competent attorney any time you pass “dirty urine” so you have the best chance of staying out of jail.
Penalties for Probation Violations
Committing a probation violation can have serious consequences. However, with a probation violation defense attorney working your case, you have a higher chance of a more favorable outcome than going alone.
When you violate probation, the judge may completely revoke your probation deal. In this case, you will be required to serve the jail sentence that was set aside for probation.
The judge could also reinstate your probation deal, which is one of the best possible outcomes and is what your probation violation attorney will be fighting to achieve.
Lastly, a judge can opt to modify your probation deal. A judge may decide to make your probation stricter if you violate its terms or, in some cases, make it less strict to allow you more freedom.
Whatever the situation, you can expect your attorney to fight diligently and vigorously to get a favorable outcome in your case.
How a Probation Violation Attorney Can Help Your Case
A probation violation lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL, will provide a vigorous defense for your case and work to keep your probation valid. Remember, probation hearings have lower standards of proof than criminal trials, which means the prosecutor has an easier time proving your violation than proving a conviction.
For this reason, it is important to have a skilled advocate working for you. In many cases, a probation lawyer in Pinellas County, FL, can get you a more favorable probation violation outcome, even if you committed a violation.
The state often seeks to have you arrested for a probation violation and held in jail until your hearing. If this happens, an attorney overseeing your case may be able to get the judge to allow you to remain free until the hearing, depending on the circumstances.
In some instances, the state simply has it wrong, and you did not commit a violation, or there is no proof of a violation. When this is the situation, your attorney will assert one of a few different defenses, such as:
- You didn’t commit the violation
- You are in full compliance with your probation terms
- The state lacks enough evidence to prove the violation
Other important things an attorney can do for your case include:
- Make your court appearance for you
- Argue for you to be released on your own recognizance
- Present the judge with a probation plan that you can comply with, and that is satisfactory to the state
- Present a motion to surrender
Regardless of the circumstances, your legal interests are best served by hiring a probation violations lawyer to handle your case as soon as you are notified of a violation.