Depending on the nature of the situation, age of the offender, and other factors, courts sometimes award a probation sentence. Accordingly, the person is allowed to return to the community on the condition that they will comply with specific rules. They must also remain under the supervision of the law officer assigned to them. Probation can be awarded after a detention period if the defendant has been displaying good behavior. Or, as a part of a split sentence where the offender spends a part of their sentence in prison and the other on probation.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Lakeland Probation Violation Lawyer
A probation violation is breaking the conditions of the probation or committing a new crime while under sentence for a previous offense. The underlying factor that determines a probation violation is intent. Offenders can only be penalized for probation violation if they willfully and intentionally violated the rules. If you’ve been charged with a probation violation, you need to contact us right away, our lawyers have over years of combined experience handling criminal cases in Florida, including Lakeland and all of Polk County. We can argue that you broke the rules by accident or because of circumstances that were out of your control. As long as you can provide adequate evidence, you won’t be prosecuted. Give us a call today for your free consultation.
Probation Violation Situations
If you’ve been awarded probation, you must take the time to understand the terms and follow the rules carefully. You can be prosecuted for not complying with regulations like:
- Failing to pay the cost of supervision
- Committing a new offense while still under probation
- Using or possessing drugs and having a positive drug test
- Failing to appear in court on schedule
- Failing to report for appointments with the Probation Officer (PO)
- Leaving the state or changing a residential address without informing the PO
- Failing to pay required restitution to the victim
- Absconding or running away from the PO
- Not completing mandatory court orders like specified community hours, counseling, or classes
- Not obeying other court orders (drinking alcohol or hanging out with known gang members)
Consequences of a Probation Violation
The consequences for a probation violation depend on the original offense for which you were sentenced to probation. Violating probation rules does not always result in penalties. The PO has the authority to arrest the defendant and present them in court or let them off with a warning. In case of misdemeanor offenses, the probation officer fills out an Affidavit of Violation. However, if the original crime was a felony, the Department of Corrections completes the report.
On viewing the report, the judge may issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest. Alternatively, a notice to appear may be given for first-time offenders or people who were sentenced for qualifying crimes.
What Happens at a Probation Hearing
If the PO arrests and presents you in court for a probation violation, you’ll have a hearing where the judge will listen to the facts of the situation. The prosecution will provide evidence to prove that you broke probation. Your attorney will also offer proof that you did not intentionally violate the rules. The Constitution entitles you to receive a written notice of the violations for which you have been arrested along with competent representation in court.
Typical Penalties for Probation Violation
An unbiased judge will hear the case, and if the offender is found guilty, they may have to go back to prison to complete the rest of their sentence. Or, comply with whatever alternate punishments the judge awards. These penalties may depend on the original offense for which the defendant has received probation and whether they’ve been found guilty of similar crimes in the past.
For lighter offenses, the court may order:
- Additional probation terms
- Behavioral boot camp
- Community service hours
- Extension of the probation period
- Mandatory rehabilitation programs and counseling
For serious offenses, the court may order:
- Prison or jail term
- Restitution to the victims
- Monetary fines
Perpetrators who commit a new crime or are charged while still serving their probation must face harsher punishments. In addition to getting the probation revoked, they may get further penalties for the new offense.
Contacting Smith & Eulo Law Firm Should Be Your First Priority
If you’ve been charged with a probation violation, contact us at Smith & Eulo for legal counsel and assistance for presenting a strong defense in court. You’ll need our award-winning expertise to present your side of the situation and uphold your rights in court.