Probation Violation Lawyer in Miami, FL
Violation of probation charges in Miami can be very serious and should be understood properly when facing charges. In Florida, there is a lower standard of proof required for violation of probation than in other types of criminal cases. Probation is a very fragile situation that can be taken away easily. The slightest violation could lead to your entire probation privilege being revoked.
At Smith & Eulo Law Firm, we understand the ins and outs of probation violation cases. We know that the legal system is complex, and we work to help clients navigate their legal situations for the best possible outcome because we understand the outcome of your case can affect you, your family, and your future.
If you’re facing probation violation in the Miami area, please contact our legal team in Miami, FL to see how we can help you with your probation violation case today. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and map out a proper defense strategy for your unique situation.
What is Probation?
Probation is a period of community supervision over a criminal offender ordered by the court. It is a system designed to help rehabilitate you, and help you live lawfully back with society after some sort of criminal offense.
During probation, there are specific requirements that the offender must meet to not go back to jail. Each situation is different and comes with their own unique circumstances where the court will dictate the guidelines for your probationary period. Most probation programs require meeting with a probation officer periodically to ensure your following of the court’s guidelines.
If you violate your probation or fail to meet the requirements set by the court, you may be charged with a violation of probation. Months or years of hard work can all be reversed with one small set back with your probation.
Types of probation
Under the umbrella of probation, there are several types of probation that your situation can fall under.
- Regular probation: regular scheduled contact with probation officer, obey court ordered conditions
- Administrative probation: no probation officer, obey court ordered conditions
- Community council: restricted travel allowance, supervised custody, possible police surveillance
- Community control II: confined location to your residence, full time supervision by probation officer, possible subject to electronic monitoring
- Sex offender probation: court mandated treatment, strict supervision by probation officer
Common Requirements Mandated by Court in Miami
As mentioned, each case is unique, and the judge in your case will ultimately decide what your probation requirements will be. But there are some requirements that are seen more frequently than others. Some of those include:
Regular meetings with probation officer
- Community service
- Random alcohol and drug testing
- Maintaining regular employment
- Court fines and fees
- Confinement to county, city, or residence
- Restitution to victims
- Prohibited visiting to certain areas and criminal settings
What is a probation violation?
Probation violation occurs when you fail to follow the guidelines set forth by the court in any way during your specified probationary period. There are two types of probation violations that can occur. These are technical and substantive.
Technical Probation Violation
Technical probation violations are less severe than substantive and occur when you’ve failed to meet the requirements of your probation. Common technical violations include:
- Not paying court fines, fees, or restitution ordered by the court
- Missing court dates
- Failing to report to probation officer as ordered by the court
- Failing to hold gainful employment
- Failing an alcohol or drug test
- Failing to avoid certain areas or criminal environments
- Failing to report to rehabilitation programs ordered by the court
Probation cases differ from criminal cases in one aspect because the court determines the outcome of your case and determines your penalties. This may help or hurt your case. When you’ve violated your probation and are facing charges, you are allowed to talk directly to the court and explain the circumstances of the violation, and essentially plead your case. You may also defend yourself and why revoking probation would be a bad decision. But, with your fate in the court’s hands, this also leaves you vulnerable to the court revoking probation for minor violations.
It’s best to consult an experienced probation violation attorney for advice and possible representation if you’re faced with this situation.
Substantive probation violations are when you commit a new crime while under probation. This is a much more severe charge than technical violation. Any crimes you commit while on probation will count as a substantive violation. Even relatively minor crimes like shoplifting will count against you and can have serious future consequences.
If law enforcement believes that you’ve committed a crime, they can arrest you and file an Affidavit of Violation of a Department of Corrections Violation Report which gives their sworn statement about how you violated the requirements of your probation. This statement can be used against you in your case since the court will need evidence to prove that you willfully and substantially violated the terms of your probation.
If the crime or violation is more severe, your probation officer may deem it necessary to have a probation hearing. This hearing will be heard and decided by the judge in your case. In this decision, the judge will consider your past criminal history, behavior during probation, and other circumstances that are relevant to the case.
Possible Defense of Probation Violation
The court will have to prove willful and substantial violation of probation based on non-hearsay evidence. But the prosecutor will only have to prove that you “most likely” violated your terms of probation. If it’s more than likely, you may be found guilty, and the judge will determine your penalties.
Contact Experienced Probation Violation Lawyers in Miami, FL
Because the requirement for proof in these cases is so low, working with good legal representation is critical. A solid defense can change the fate of whether you stay on probation or end up back in jail.
It is in your best interest to work with a great legal team when facing probation violation charges in Miami. Smith & Eulo offers free consultations for probation violation cases. We will work to mount the best possible defense, and work to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Contact our office in Miami today.
In addition to our Miami location, we also have offices in: