Probation Violation

Probation is similar to a suspended jail sentence: you must not violate the terms of your probation, and you must check in with your probation officer on a routine basis.  If you fail to meet the terms, you will have to answer for a probation violation.

  In lieu of sending a convicted criminal to jail, many courts will impose a sentence of probation. This means you were convicted of a crime, but you either served only a portion of your sentence, or didn’t serve jail time at all.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, the court uses these kinds of probation:

  1. Probation—offenders must obey certain terms of probation, consistently staying in contact with probation/parole officers.
  2. Administrative Probation—the offender is on probation but is not required to regularly contact parole or probation officers.
  3. Community Control—the offender remains in supervised custody. The offender is typically restricted to residential setting, and may be under surveillance.
    1. Community Control II—requires constant supervision by probation officers, which may include time in residential confinement.
    2. Sex Offender Probation—the offender must follow a treatment regimen and remain under the strict supervision of a surveillance officer.
    3. Drug Offender Probation—the offender undergoes drug or narcotics rehabilitation, random drug tests, and strict supervision.

There are two types of probation violations:

  • Technical: the violation of any of your conditions of probation. For example:
    • You change addresses without permission.
    • You fail to pay fines or court costs.
    • You fail to show up for a probation meeting.
      1. You are tardy for a probation meeting.
      2. You did not complete court-ordered programs or classes.
  • Substantive: you violate your probation by committing a new crime.

Penalties
If you violate probation, the judge can either reinstate the probation, modify the probation, or revoke the probation. If a judge revokes the probation, under Florida law, you can receive the maximum penalty for the charges for which you were placed on probation.

A probation violation charge in Stuart, Martin County, or St. Lucia County means your freedom is in jeopardy. If you are found guilty, the state can file to revoke your probation, sending you to prison. If you don’t wish to be incarcerated, you must take specific steps to protect yourself and your rights.

Robert J. Watson uses extensive legal knowledge to scrupulously defend every case that involves probation violations, working hard to build a solid defense that can influence a positive outcome for you. If you want to discuss the specifics of your case, please call 772-288-1880.