Florida Probation Violations
Written by Moses & Rooth on September 2, 2015
Probation in Florida is considered a privilege, not a right. If you have been convicted of a crime and given a probationary sentence, the terms of the probationary agreement must be strictly complied with. Often, at the end of a probationary term, charges are dismissed—this provides an incentive for full compliance. Despite our best efforts to strive for perfection, we make mistakes. It is human nature to get busy and occasionally miss appointments, even with something as important as a meeting with a probation officer. A small misstep should not undo all of the hard work you have put in complying with your probation term and it is possible to maintain your probationary status, even if you have not fully complied with the terms.
Probation in Florida
Florida law allows for an arrest warrant to be placed when it is believed that probationary terms have not been followed. These warrants are most common when a no contact order has been violated or for a “technical” violation such as failure to appear for a drug test, meeting with probation officer, or missing a pre-determined curfew. “Technical” or not, any violation of your probationary terms may jeopardize your right to continue probation. This violation may reinstate a pending offense, lead you to jail, or ruin your chances at being placed on probation, should you commit future offenses.
New charges are another way that a criminal defendant may lose his or her probation status. Having no new arrests is a frequent (if not mandatory) condition of probation, which, if violated, may lead to original charges being reinstated, along with the new, pending charges.
Know Your Rights
If you have been suspected of violating your probation in Florida, there are a series of steps the court must take in order to provide you with an opportunity to defend yourself against the allegations. You have a right to be to be informed of the alleged violation and a right to a hearing. The court, however, has the right to determine whether the offender to should be detained while awaiting a hearing on the probationary matter, or if they can be released, as well as what the conditions of the release shall be. The court may also impose a sentence for the underlying crime if probation is revoked due to the violation.
Orlando, Florida Probation Defense Attorneys
At Moses & Rooth, our experienced probation defense lawyers understand how valuable probation is to our clients. It allows an individual autonomy to work, to be at home, and to work on moving forward with their lives. Our primary objective with our clients on probation is to ensure that they get to keep their probationary status, even in the event of a technical violation or commission of a subsequent criminal offense. While every case is different, as former prosecutors, we know how to approach the prosecutor to re- negotiate terms of probation and advocate to the court that probation is the most appropriate sentence given our client’s unique circumstances. In the event that probation is mandatorily revoked due to the commission of a subsequent offense, we will zealously defend our client on that case and advocate for leniency or dismissal of charges. In order to understand your legal rights and options, regardless of whether you have just been charged with a crime or are currently on probation, contact our Orlando office today.