TAMPA BAY AREA VIOLATIONS OF PROBATION
In Florida, the Office of Community Corrections currently supervises more than 164,000 offenders throughout the state. These adult offenders are monitored and supervised by probation officers located in 130 probation offices. This includes offenders released from prison on parole, conditional release, or conditional medical release. It also includes offenders placed on court ordered supervision including regular probation, administrative probation, drug offender probation, sex offender probation, and community control. Correctional Probation Officers also supervise offenders placed on pre-trial intervention.
WHY SHOULD I TAKE PROBATION SERIOUSLY?
Probation is defined by Florida law as a form of community supervision that imposes certain terms and conditions on an offender in lieu of incarceration. It comes as no surprise that most people prefer probation over a jail sentence.
Although it serves as an alternative to incarceration, a sentence of probation or community control should never be taken lightly. Committing a technical or substantive violation of your probation can have serious, life-changing consequences – including a no bond warrant for your arrest. Ultimately, a person found in violation by a court can be sentenced to the maximum prison sentence allowed by law. You want to avoid that.
If you have been accused of a probation violation in the Tampa Bay area, it is imperative to reach out to a board certified criminal trial lawyer at www.matassinilaw.com. A delay could jeopardize your case.
HOW CAN I BE VIOLATED?
The answer is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Of course, if you are arrested for a new law violation – like committing a new drug crime – that will be considered a violation of the terms of your probation. Additionally, you can also violate supervision by committing a “technical” violation of probation where it is not alleged that you committed a new offense but that you did something else wrong like violating a curfew or failing to do community service hours on time. A technical violation occurs when an individual violates either a specific or general condition of their probation. These typically include things like:
- Failure to pay court costs and fines
- Failure to complete court-ordered programs such as drug rehabilitation or mental-health counseling
- Failing a drug test
- Missing or arriving late to probation-related appointments
THERE ARE MANY DEFENSES TO PROBATION VIOLATIONS
Under Florida law, a violation of probation legally occurs when a defendant willfully and substantially fails to comply with the terms of her probationary sentence. An experienced lawyer can craft credible arguments to persuade the court that the violation was not willful or substantial.
Whether a violation is both willful and substantial in nature depends on the facts of each individual case and must be proven by the prosecution by the “greater wight of the evidence.” State v. Melton, 65 So.3d 96,97 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011); Thompson v. State, 890 So.2d 382, 383 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2004).
It is paramount to surviving a Florida violation of probation that your lawyer finds the right defense, legal arguments, and mitigating circumstances to present to the court in your case. Don’t hire an inexperienced lawyer to protect your life.
HIRE A BOARD CERTIFIED CRIMINAL TRIAL LAWYER TODAY
Only 7 percent of eligible Florida Bar members are board certified in their areas of practice. Nicholas G. Matassini has been board certified in criminal trial law since 2012 by the Florida Bar and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He can be reached at www.matassinilaw.com for a free consultation.