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PRACTICE AREA

Probation Violations

 

The Law Office of Lee Meadows has over 41 years assisting people needing guidance about probation violations in Florida.

A violation of probation can result in consequences, such as serving jail time or an extension of probation. This may be avoidable depending on the circumstances and an experienced attorney can help you navigate the process. 

DON’T LEAVE YOUR FUTURE TO CHANCE

Each VOP case is different and experience counts.

What is a Violation of Probation? 

When you are placed on probation, you are advised of the conditions of your probation by the judge or a probation officer. Should you disobey the conditions, you run the risk of having your probation violated. Violations of probation can be either technical violations or substantive violations.

Technical vs. Substantive Violations

Technical violations occur when a person violates the terms of their probation. Substantive violations of probation occur when a person on probation commits a new criminal offense.

Examples of Technical Violations: 

 

Failure to Report: If you are required to report to your probation officer at specific intervals and fail to do so without a valid reason, it can be considered a technical violation.

 

Failure to Pay Fines or Restitution: If you are ordered to pay fines, court costs, or restitution as a condition of your probation and fail to make the required payments, it can be considered a technical violation.

 

Failure to Attend or Complete Required Programs: Probation often requires individuals to attend or complete specific programs or treatments, such as drug rehabilitation, counseling, or educational classes. Failing to attend or complete these programs can be a technical violation.

 

Failure to Maintain Employment or School: If employment or school attendance is a condition of your probation, failing to maintain either without a valid reason can be a violation.

 

Failure to Comply with Curfews: If your probation terms include a curfew, violating it can be a technical violation.

 

Associating with Prohibited Individuals: If your probation terms prohibit you from associating with specific individuals, such as known criminals, and you violate this condition, it is a technical violation.

 

Failure to Notify Change of Address or Contact Information: Failing to inform your probation officer of changes to your address or contact information is typically a violation of probation terms.

 

Travel Restrictions Violations: Some probationers may have restrictions on traveling outside of a designated area. Violating these travel restrictions can be considered a technical violation.

 

Failure to Complete Community Service or Work Assignments: If you are required to perform community service or work assignments as part of your probation and fail to do so, it can be a violation.

Examples of Substantive Violations:

 

New Criminal Offenses: Committing a new criminal offense while on probation is a significant substantive violation. Depending on the severity of the new offense, this can lead to probation revocation and potentially new criminal charges.

 

Violent Offenses: Committing a violent crime, such as assault, battery, or domestic violence, while on probation is a serious violation that can lead to probation revocation.

 

 

Drug Offenses: Violating probation by possessing, using, or distributing illegal drugs can be considered a substantive violation. Positive drug tests or drug-related arrests may lead to probation revocation.

 

 

Firearm Possession: If possessing a firearm is prohibited as a condition of probation and you are found in possession of one, it can be a substantive violation.

 

 

Violating Stay-Away Orders: Violating court orders to stay away from specific individuals or places can be considered a substantive violation.

 

 

Breach of No-Contact Orders: Contacting victims or witnesses in cases where a no-contact order is in place is a substantive violation.

 

 

Fleeing or Evading Law Enforcement: Attempting to evade law enforcement officers or fleeing from arrest can be a substantive violation.

 

Failure to Report to Probation Officer: Repeatedly failing to report to your probation officer or deliberately avoiding contact can lead to substantive violations.

How will my probation be affected? 

If you violate your probation a judge can:

Reinstate Probation: If the judge believes that you deserve a second chance and that probation is still an appropriate sentence, they may choose to reinstate your probation with additional conditions or modifications to your existing probation terms.

Modify Probation: The judge may decide to modify the terms of your probation to make them more stringent or to address the issues that led to the violation.

Revoke Probation: If the judge determines that probation is no longer suitable or if the violation is severe, they may revoke your probation, and you may face the original sentence or other penalties. Upon revocation of probation, the judge is obligated to declare the probationer guilty of the original offense and apply any sentence that could have initially been imposed when the probation began. Depending on circumstances, the court may contemplate instituting a new probation (without granting credit for previously served supervision) or impose a sentence of incarceration.

Possible Consequences of Violating Probation 

Extended Probation: In some cases, the judge may extend the length of your probation term.

Additional Penalties: In addition to facing the original sentence, the court may impose additional penalties for the probation violation, such as fines, community service, or additional probation time.

Increased Supervision: After a probation violation, the probationer may face increased supervision by probation officers. This could include more frequent check-ins, drug testing, and monitoring.

Treatment or Programs: In some cases, the court may require the probationer to participate in counseling, rehabilitation programs, or other treatments as a condition of continuing probation.

Jail or Prison Time: Depending on the nature and severity of the probation violation, the court may impose jail or prison time as a consequence.

Forfeiture of Bond: If the probationer posted a bond to secure their release on probation, it may be forfeited.

Don't Go At It Alone

Remember, if a judge revokes your probation, Florida law allows the judge to impose the maximum penalty for the charge you were placed on probation for. Legal representation can help you navigate the legal system, protect your rights, and advocate for the best possible outcome. If you're facing a parole violation, contact The Law Office of Lee Meadows for a free case evaluation. 

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