When you are given probation, you are also subject to a list of strict requirements that can limit where you go, what you do, and who you see. But following these strict rules can keep many people from being incarcerated or allow for a reduced sentence.
But being found in violation of the rules of your probation can mean facing serious consequences, including fines or even jail time. Fortunately, that is where our team can come in to help.
Mike G is a probation violation lawyer in Tampa who has years of experience handling cases just like yours. Click here to schedule a FREE consultation or continue reading to learn about how our team can help you.
Legal Definition of Probation
The State of Florida defines probation as a type of legal supervision. A court may sentence someone to probation after serving time or sometimes offer probation instead of jail time.
While on probation, individuals must adhere to certain terms and conditions. Everyone’s sentences will vary depending on the nature of their crime and past criminal history.
Usually, individuals will have to report to their probation officer (PO) as directed. They will also have to:
- Allow their PO to make regular visits to their home or place of work
- Not violate any laws
- Avoid association with people involved in illegal activities
- Hold a job
- Support their legal dependents
- Pay reparations to cover damage caused by their crimes
- Stay within a certain area
Note that these are just some of the most common terms and conditions of a probation sentence. Florida Statute 948.03 contains a complete list of standard conditions.
Another important thing to know is that the court will adjust the conditions to your case. The court will specify factors such as:
- How often you need to report to your PO
- How much you need to pay in reparations (if the crime you committed caused damage to a party)
- How far you are allowed to travel from your home
- What your curfew is (if applicable)
The court may also add restrictions based on the nature of your crime. For instance, if your crime involved illegal substance use, you may be subject to drug tests. You may also be prohibited from carrying a firearm.
Examples of Common Probation Violations
According to Florida law, probation conditions “do not require oral pronouncement at the time of sentencing.” This means that, while in court, you may not hear the conditions you’re subject to.
As a result, many offenders are unaware of the conditions of their probation. They often violate their probation without meaning to. Some of the most common instances of violations of probation (VOP) include:
- Consuming alcohol or other drugs in excess
- Having a controlled substance show up on a drug test
- Changing your place of residence without immediately notifying your PO
- Missing appointments with your PO
- Getting arrested for a new crime
- Failing to complete a substance abuse program
What Happens When You Violate Probation
It’s important to take all conditions of your probation seriously. Failing to meet with your probation officer, not notifying them of a change in residence, or getting careless about using controlled substances can all cause you problems in the future—even if they are minor mistakes in the present.
Even if your probation violation is an honest mistake, a court will not see it that way. They will issue a warrant for your arrest and bring you to trial. In some cases, a law enforcement officer does not even need a warrant—they may arrest you if they have reasonable cause that you have committed a violation.
Depending on the nature of the violation, the court might alter the terms of your probation. In some cases, you might have to serve jail time.
Why You Should Hire a Probation Violation Lawyer
If you are being accused of a VOP, you need to hire a probation violation lawyer. A probation violation lawyer will offer expert representation and argue your case for you. With a professional attorney by your side, you can fight for the best possible outcome.
Mike G has decades of experience on both sides of the prosecution—including as an attorney defending people accused of violating their probation.
When you come to us with your case, here are the ways our team will help:
1. We Resolve Your Case Quickly
Your freedom is our priority. Our goal is to ensure you do not have to wait in jail for your trial or wait to get a bond to release you from being held.
We also take an aggressive approach with the prosecution—our team stays on top of your case to ensure things move as quickly as possible.
2. We Provide Legal Expertise
In criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They must prove that you committed the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In VOP cases, the burden of proof is also on the prosecution. They must prove that you willfully and substantially violated your terms and conditions.
However, VOP cases abide by the “preponderance of the evidence” standards. This means that the prosecution doesn’t have to prove that you committed a VOP “beyond a reasonable doubt.” They must only prove that you committed a VOP with a likelihood of at least 51%.
These less strict standards put VOP defendants at a disadvantage. But with Mike G Law, you stand a fighting chance. Our team will offer the expert legal defense you need. We know all the tactics that the prosecution will use—and how to defend against them.
3. We Will File a Motion to Suppress or Dismiss VOPs
In some cases, filing a motion to suppress or dismiss VOPs may be your best move. These measures can get the court to make a more favorable ruling or even drop the charges altogether. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to successfully file motions. Contact us today to learn more.
Let Our Team Help You
A VOP is not something to take lightly, even if you committed a violation on accident or you feel as if your violation was minor. To help you secure the best possible outcome, you need an expert attorney by your side. Contact Mike G Law today for a free case consultation.