There are currently more than 164,000 people on probation in the state of Florida. Probation is considered a privilege and is a supervisory period that acts as an alternative to jail or prison time. For many offenders, probation is seen as an opportunity to reintegrate back into society and prove that they have turned their lives around.
While there are many success stories of people who have completed probation and gone on to live crime-free lives, probation violations are also common occurrences.
If you’ve been accused of a violation of probation, it should not be taken lightly. This violation can come with serious consequences.
Let’s discuss the penalties for a violation of probation in Florida.
What Is A Probation Violation?
Probation terms may vary from person to person, but the state of Florida defines a violation of probation as an occurrence where a defendant substantially and willfully fails to comply with the guidelines of their probation.
There are two types of probation violations in Florida: technical and substantive.
Technical violations are defined as ‘an alleged violation of supervision that is not a new felony offense, misdemeanor offense, or criminal traffic offense.’ These types of violations can include:
- Failing to pay fines and/or fees
- Failing a drug test
- Failing to complete a court-ordered program
- Missing (or arriving late to) a meeting with a probation officer
Substantive violations occur when a defendant commits a new crime while on probation.
Regardless of the type of violation, it’s important to remember that it must be proven that the accused committed the violation ‘willfully and substantially’. This essentially means that you must have knowingly and intentionally violated your probation.
What Can Happen If You Are Accused of a Violation of Probation in Florida
If you’ve been accused of violating your probation, you should know that the penalties can vary based on the severity of your violation and how your probation officer chooses to handle it.
Minor violations may result in a warning from your probation officer while more serious violations could result in the following:
- An arrest
- Having your probation revoked (jail time)
- Having your probation period extended
- New charges
A Criminal Defense Attorney
An accusation that you’ve violated your probation doesn’t necessarily mean you will face a penalty, but it is still in your best interest to contact a lawyer to help you navigate the situation. Criminal defense attorney, Daniel J. Fernandez, may be able to help. Fernandez & Hernandez will provide a free consultation and discuss your situation. If you need legal assistance call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.