Probation Violations in Florida
Probation is a form of community supervision that imposes specific conditions and terms (in lieu of incarceration) on those who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses. However, these sentences should still not be taken lightly, as violating a condition of probation can have serious consequences, including the revocation of the sentence altogether, so if you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation, it is important to reach out to an experienced Seminole probation violation attorney who can help you build a strong defense.
Technical vs. Substantive Violations
There are two main types of probation violations in Florida: technical and substantive violations. The former occurs when a probationer violates a specific or general condition of his or her sentence, such as:
- Failing to pay court fines, including restitution;
- Failing to complete a court-ordered program, such as mental health counseling or a substance abuse program;
- Failing a drug test; and
- Missing or arriving late to an appointment.
A substantive violation, on the other hand, occurs when a person commits an additional offense while still on probation. However, in order to revoke a person’s probation for a substantive violation, prosecutors must provide non-hearsay evidence that links the probationer to the new offense.
What Qualifies as a Probation Violation?
Whether a person is accused of committing a technical or substantive violation of probation, he or she will only face revocation if there is evidence of a willful and substantial violation. Whether a violation is determined to be both willful and substantial depends on the circumstances of the case. However, in most cases, a violation will not be considered willful if the probationer has made reasonable efforts to comply with the terms of the sentence. Examples of non-willful violations include:
- Failing to make restitution when a probationer is unemployed;
- Failing to perform community service after reporting to the work site multiple times and being told that work wasn’t available;
- Failing to complete a drug rehabilitation program where mental illness interfered with a probationer’s ability to follow instructions; or
- Failing to deliver a report due to a probationer’s lack of transportation and subsequent arrest for an unrelated crime.
If you were accused of violating the terms of your probation, but did not do so willfully, please contact our legal team today.
What Happens After a Probation Violation?
If a person is found guilty of violating the terms of his or her probation sentence, a judge will:
- Reinstate the individual’s probation;
- Modify the probationer’s sentence; or
- Revoke the probation sentence and impose jail time.
In the event that a probationer’s sentence is revoked, the judge also has discretion to impose the maximum sentence for the original charge. This is true even if the new sentence is longer than the term that was included in the probationer’s initial plea deal.
Contact an Experienced Seminole Probation Violation Lawyer for Assistance
If you have been accused of violating your probation, please call Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff at 727-330-6502 today to speak with an experienced Seminole probation violation attorney about your legal options. You can also reach a member of our legal team by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.