Probation is a form of supervision requiring an offender to abide by court-ordered terms and conditions in lieu of a sentence of incarceration. Probation is a privilege, not a right.
A violation of probation occurs when a probationer willfully and substantially fails to comply with the terms and conditions of his or her probationary sentence. The State must prove that a probationer committed a violation that was both willful and substantial in nature. The trial court has broad discretion to determine whether there has been a willful and substantial violation of a term of probation. When a probationer makes reasonable efforts to comply with a condition of probation, a violation cannot be deemed willful.
Why Should I Contact a Violation of Probation Lawyer?
The majority of probation violations originate from a few common factual scenarios. These violations include new criminal offenses, failed drug tests, failure to meet financial obligations, failure to complete court-ordered programs, and missed appointments.
- New Criminal Offense Violation – The State must present direct evidence linking the probationer to the commission of a new criminal offense. An arrest alone is not an adequate basis for finding a violation of probation.
- Failed Drug Test – The State has the burden of proving that an illegal drug was present in the probationer’s body. A violation cannot be based solely on a probation officer’s testimony regarding laboratory results.
- Failure to Meet Financial Obligations – Non-payment of court costs, restitution, costs of supervision, fines, costs of drug testing, and other fees is another common basis for violating probation. The burden is on the probationer to prove his inability to pay. Before a probationer can be imprisoned for failure to pay there must be a determination that the probationer has the ability to pay but has willfully refused to do so.
- Failures to Complete Drug Treatment Programs – When probation is sought to be revoked because of failure to successfully complete a rehabilitation program, some evidence must be submitted to show that the probationer was in some manner responsible for such failure.
- Missed Appointments – A single missed appointment with a probation officer, where a valid explanation is offered, is insufficient to demonstrate willful and substantial noncompliance with probation.
If you are on probation and the State files an affidavit of violation against you, it is important that you discuss your situation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to learn about your rights and options.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
The laws governing violation of probation in Florida are highly complex. It is important to act quickly and secure legal representation. The attorneys at Fernandez and Hernandez have experience defending violations of probation and will work vigorously to protect your rights, and in many cases, may be able to prevent a violation of probation or resolve the matter without incarceration.
Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC provides legal representation for violation of probation cases. Our qualifications and background are available to you. Our Tampa Attorneys Daniel Fernandez and Martin Hernandez are bilingual as well.
Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland, and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area.
If you have been accused of a violation of probation in the Tampa Bay area, you may need the assistance of an attorney to contest the charge. minimize potential penalties and get a favorable resolution of the matter. Call Tampa criminal defense lawyer Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now. We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo, and Yelp.