When you’ve been charged with a criminal offense in Florida, probation can help you avoid jail time by following court-ordered requirements such as:
- Reporting to a probation officer
- Performing community service
- Staying away from certain places or people
- Appearing in court when requested
- Avoiding the use of drugs or alcohol
- Submitting to drug or alcohol testing
A violation of probation occurs when you break any of the terms of your probation agreement. In Florida, there are two types of violations:
- Technical Probation Violation: You violate a general or specific condition of your probation. For example, you change your address without informing the court or miss a meeting with your probation officer.
- Substantive Probation Violation: You commit a new offense while on probation.
While some people intentionally violate their probation, others make a genuine mistake. They think that they’re following the court-ordered rules and restrictions, only to find out that they’ve violated one or more terms and are now in serious trouble.
If this happens to you, you’re going to be worried. Penalties for probation violations in Florida, which are listed in Chapter 948 of the state statutes, include:
- Reinstating your probation
- Modifying the terms of your probation
- Revoking your probation and imposing jail or prison time
What’s especially alarming is that if you were sentenced to jail or prison, you would not be credited for any time served on probation. For example, if you were sentenced to three years prison and served six months of probation, you could still go to prison for the entire three years. You could also be sentenced to the maximum jail or prison time for the offense, even if it is longer than the one established in your original plea bargain.
Probation vs. Parole
People often confuse the terms probation and parole, but they are two different things. With parole, you are released early from jail or prison while probation supervises your movements and activities. In some cases, individuals on parole may also be placed on probation as a condition of their release.
A Tampa Probation Violation Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been accused of violating your probation, call Sulte Law Firm immediately, as your ongoing freedom is now at risk. You need a Tampa criminal defense attorney who will help you answer the charges and fight to reinstate your probation. We have achieved positive outcomes for many clients charged with probation violations in Florida and will put together a legal strategy designed to help you avoid jail or prison. To schedule a consultation, call us right away at (813) 223-4343.
What are the Different Types of Probation in Florida?
The Florida Department of Corrections will issue different types of probation, depending on the nature of the offense and the court’s recommendations. They include:
Regular Probation: You must be in regular contact with an assigned probation officer and obey the conditions imposed by the court.
Administrative Probation: You must follow certain court-ordered conditions but don’t have to report regularly to a probation officer.
Community Control: You are under supervised custody. Depending on the circumstances, you may be placed under police surveillance and prohibited from certain types of travel.
Community Control II: You are supervised by probation officers 24-7 and may have to submit to electronic surveillance and/or residential confinement.
Sex Offender Probation: You were convicted of a sex crime and must follow a court-ordered treatment plan as well as be supervised by an officer.
Drug Offender Probation: You were convicted of a drug crime and must participate in a substance abuse program as well as random drug tests.
What Happens When You Are Accused of Violating Probation?
If your probation officer believes that you have violated the terms of your probation, they will provide the court with an affidavit which details why they think you committed a violation. If the judge concludes that the breach was willful, they may issue a warrant for your arrest.
You are entitled to a hearing before this judge and be represented by a Tampa probation violation attorney who will work to convince the court that your probation should be allowed to continue. Perhaps the person who reported you made a mistake, or you suffered a medical emergency. Your defense attorney will focus on getting the best result for your case.
How Can our Tampa Probation Violation Lawyer Help?
Being accused of a probation violation can undo all the progress you’ve made in your rehabilitation. At Sulte Law, we are committed to defending your case and protecting your freedom. Attorney Ryan Sulte is an experienced Tampa probation violation attorney and will help you address the violation with the court with the goal of getting your probation reinstated.
Probation gives you the chance to put a mistake behind you and move forward with your life. Let Sulte Law help you stay on the path to success.