The criminal justice system can be extremely complex and confusing. One of the most complicated areas of the law is probation. Although probation terms can vary significantly between cases, one thing is for sure — If you do not abide by them, you may be subject to severe consequences, including being sent back to jail.
If you've been accused of a probation violation in Florida, you should seek legal advice immediately. An experienced Tampa probation violation attorney can help you get your original probation order reinstated or minimally modified — so you can get on with your life. The OA Law Firm has fought tirelessly to secure thousands of clients a favorable outcome in their legal fight. For a confidential discussion to determine how you can defend a probation violation charge, speak to an attorney today by calling (813) 461-5291 or contact us online.What is Probation in Florida?
In the state of Florida, probation is a punishment that can help an offender avoid jail time or reduce their jail time. Probation requires an offender to adhere to specific terms and, in some instances, report to a probation officer.
Probation is preferable in some cases because it allows the legal system to monitor the actions of the offender. You will only generally qualify for probation if you are convicted of a minor or nonviolent crime and don't have a previous criminal history. In some instances, if you have already served time, the rest of your sentence can be served through probation.
It's important to note that if you violate the terms of your probation, or break the law, you could be taken back to court for resentencing — or even sent back to prison. Therefore if you're facing charges for violation of probation, you should seek legal advice from a probation violation lawyer in the Tampa area as soon as possible.What are The Different Types of Probation?
The type of probation you serve is dependent on the type of crime you are convicted of. For example, some probation requirements include substance abuse classes, drug testing, anti-theft classes, financial responsibility classes, and restitution payments.
There are several common types of probation in Florida:
- Administrative Probation - Also known as "non-reporting" probation, Administrative probation does not require you to meet with your probation officer.
- Standard Probation - Standard probation typically involves regular reporting to your designated probation officer.
- Drug Offender Probation - If you are convicted of a drug-related crime, you may be sentenced to drug offender probation. This type of probation typically involves attending a substance abuse program and randomized drug tests.
- Sex Offender Probation - If you are a convicted sex offender, your probation will be under the surveillance of an officer. You may also be required to attend a treatment program.
- Community Control - Also known as "house arrest," community control is the most restrictive type of probation and requires you to be under constantly supervised custody.
Misdemeanor Probation is determined by the county court and is supervised by varying organizations. For example, in some Florida counties, the Salvation Army is responsible for monitoring cases. If you're subject to misdemeanor probation, you may be required to meet with your probation officer periodically. Misdemeanor Probation typically lasts from one to three years; however, this varies by case.Felony probation
Felony Probation is handled by the circuit court and is monitored by the Florida Department of Corrections. It tends to be longer and more restrictive than misdemeanor probation, lasting around three to five years. In addition, offenders on felony probation tend to be subject to more meetings with their probation officer.
As probation terms can vary for each individual case, it's crucial to seek legal advice from a knowledgeable Tampa probation violation lawyer who understands misdemeanor and felony law.Common Violations of Probation in Florida
If you're sentenced to probation, the court has the power to impose any reasonable requirement they deem fit for the duration of your probation term. Common probation violations include, but are not limited to:
- Missing a meeting with your probation officer, or a court appearance
- Failing a drug test
- Failing to complete your court-ordered rehabilitation program
- Failing to meet your court-ordered restitution payments
- Committing a new criminal offense
Probation is often thought of as the preferable alternative to incarceration; however, violating your probation is serious and can result in a return to court — and the penalties you initially faced.
Law enforcement does not require a warrant to arrest you if you are suspected of violating your probation. In addition, if you violate your felony probation terms, you should expect your original sentencing of prison time to be enforced. Alternatively, the court may extend your probation period, add new terms, or impose additional fines.Defenses Against Violation of Probation in Florida
Fortunately, in the U.S., you are innocent until proven guilty. The court must prove that you willfully and substantially violated your probation terms before they can take any action to revoke your probation. The court determines what constitutes a "substantial violation" and is also responsible for providing evidence that proves you willfully violated your probation terms.
For example, if you're accused of a technical violation of your probation, such as not paying a fine in a timely manner, the court must prove that you had the ability to pay your fine.Why You Should Choose an OA Law Firm Attorney
Omar Abdelghany is a dedicated probation violation attorney in the Tampa area who understands what is at stake for people accused of violating their parole. To protect your legal rights, it's imperative that you retain the counsel of a skilled and aggressive probation violation attorney. From the first consultation, the OA Law Firm's dedicated criminal defense attorneys will listen to your case and analyze your probation details. We will then help you to develop a solid defense strategy against your Violation of Probation charges.
If you've been accused of violating your parole in Tampa Bay or the surrounding area, you could be facing severe penalties. To ensure the best possible legal outcome, it's crucial that you seek advice from one of OA Law Firm’s attorneys as soon as possible. Call (813) 461-5291 today to discuss your legal options and start building your case.