Florida Violation of Probation Lawyer

When found guilty of certain crimes, offenders might be sentenced to probation. Although many times this prevents them from imprisonment, people still need to comply with strict conditions and requirements. If you do not follow these terms, you might be charged with a violation of probation.

In the criminal justice system, probation is considered a privilege since offenders are allowed to keep most of their freedoms. As a result, not following the terms of your probation can result in serious consequences. When you are arrested for violating your probation, you should speak to a Florida violation of probation lawyer who can help you understand what the next legal steps are.

What is Probation in Florida?

In Florida, probation is a form of supervision that can be used as an alternative to imprisonment. Given that it is used in lieu of serving a jail or a prison sentence when being placed on probation, defendants are required to abide by certain terms and conditions for a specified period of time.

To put it simply, probation allows defendants to serve their sentence in their community instead of going to jail or prison. In Florida, people found guilty of misdemeanors or felony offenses might be placed on probation as long as the offense is punishable by both a fine and imprisonment.

Nevertheless, imposing probation and establishing its specific conditions depends on the judge’s discretion. Additionally, depending on the crime, offenders might be placed on:

Administrative Probation

This is for offenders that are a low risk for the community and have completed half of their probation. It is a non-reporting form of supervision.

Drug Probation

This is an intensive form of supervision for offenders that are serving sentences for drug crimes. It might require completing substance abuse treatments and taking random drug tests.

Community Control

Community control is a more severe form of probation. Community control involves supervised ‘house arrest’ where the offender can only participate in activities approved by their probation officer.

Sex Offender Probation

Florida Statute § 948.001 defines sex offender probation as a form of supervision for people guilty of a sex crime. This type of probation might include electronic monitoring and individualized treatment plans.

If you violate the terms of your probation, call an attorney in Florida can help mitigate some of the penalties.

Rules of Probation

The conditions of probation in Florida establish the rules or terms by which the probationer must abide. Depending on the facts and circumstances of a case, the judge might include special conditions. However, there are some standard conditions that all probationers need to meet.

Examples of rules of probation in Florida include the following:

  • Report to the probation officer
  • Allow the probation officer to make home visits
  • Make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved party
  • Have a suitable job
  • Remain within a specified location
  • Pay court and probation fees
  • Do not break the law
  • Prohibited from possessing, carrying, or owning a firearm
  • Provide financial assistance to probationer’s dependants
  • Do not associate with people engaged in criminal activity
  • Submit to urine tests when required

In addition to these terms, if it is suitable and necessary for the sentence, the judge might add some special conditions to the probation (such as performing community service, attending programs or treatments, etc.)

Given that failing to obey these terms might result in severe consequences, it is important that you understand the conditions of your probation. A Florida lawyer could provide more details on  the rules of your probation if you have any questions.

Violation of Probation in Florida

In Florida, probationers can be accused of violation of probation (VOP) if they fail to meet the conditions of their probation. The consequences of violating probation depend on how severe the infraction was. Some punishments might include revoking probation, stricter conditions or incarceration.

Based on the severity of the violation, VOP can be classified into:

Technical Violation of Probation

When the probationer failed to obey a standard or special condition of the probation. Examples of a technical violation include not paying fees, failing to present a drug test, not reporting to the probation officer or failing to complete a treatment.

Substantial Violation of Probation

This is a more serious form of violation (VOP). It implies that the probationer committed a crime or broke the law while on probation. For example, if you are on probation for a DUI and you are charged with battery, you’ll be committing a substantial violation of probation.

When a person is accused of violating their probation, the prosecution must be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the infraction was willful or substantial.

If the judge determines that there was a violation, you might face different consequences that can range from adding more severe conditions to revoking your probation and facing incarceration. As established before, penalties depend on the severity of the violation as well as if the probationer is a repeated offender.

As a probationer, you have the right to fight a VOP charge. But given that there are many variables that make a violation of probation unique, you might want to enlist the help of an experienced attorney in Florida.

Probation FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions that will help understand more about how probation and violation of probation work in Florida.

Can You Travel While on Probation in Florida?

While on felony probation in Florida, people are not able to leave the county where they live without their probation officer’s permission. In order to grant permission, probation officers will assess the reasons for traveling. Traveling should not interfere with the probationer’s program or treatments.

It is important to know that probationers must present a viable traveling plan with contact information. Additionally, travel for recreational purposes is not allowed. Petitioners might be permitted to leave their county if they work and live in different locations.

What is Community Control Probation in Florida?

Community control is a more severe and intense form of probation and involves supervised house arrest. Due to its severity, community control might be imposed on probation, parole, and conditional violators, or felons accused of severe offenses. In Florida, a person can serve up to 2 years of community control.

A probationer on community control can only attend or participate in activities approved by the probation officer such as work, school, treatments, etc. In other words, the probationer might not be able to leave ‘house arrest’ to perform any unapproved daily activities such as visiting friends, eating out as well as other discretionary activities.

Do You Have to Pay for Probation in Florida?

One of the standard conditions of probation in Florida is that probationers need to pay the costs of supervision. In other words, probationers need to pay no less than $40 per month (for a misdemeanor) during their probation period. In addition to this amount, probationers also need to cover the court costs and additional fines required by the court.

How Do You Get off Probation Early in Florida?

According to Florida Statute Florida Statute § 948.04, in order to request early termination of probation, the probationer needs to have completed at least half of their probation term. Additionally, probationers should not have any violations and should have paid all the court fines and probation fees along with any and all other probation conditions.

If these requirements are met, probationers can file a motion to request early termination of probation. If you have any questions about your eligibility or the next steps to request an early termination, you should contact a Florida lawyer with experience in probation and violation cases.

Contact a Probation Violation Attorney in Florida

In Florida, probation is a form of supervision that can be imposed as an alternative to incarceration. Given that probationers are obligated to meet certain conditions, violating your probation can result in severe consequences.

Goldman Wetzel represents clients facing violation of probation charges throughout the Tampa Bay area including Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, Clearwater, and Hillsborough County.

Being accused of violation of probation can be a stressful and terrifying ordeal. Our Florida violation of probation lawyers can help you prepare a strong defense to fight for your rights. Call our office to book a free, no-obligation consultation.