The primary purpose of criminal punishment is to deter a prospective criminal from committing a crime in the first place. If a crime is committed, punishments are designed to deter that criminal from committing another crime in the future. While criminal penalties may be harsh, not all convicted criminals are sent to jail or prison. Sometimes a criminal may be allowed to go about their daily lives under specific restrictions and supervision.
Probation is a set of conditions that must be followed as part of a punishment. The rules for how probation works are strict, and not all crimes qualify for probation either. Just some of rules probation entails include:
- It is reserved for minor (misdemeanor) crimes and first-time offenders. Juvenile offenders may also receive probation. Individuals convicted of serious crimes are unlikely to get probation.
- Probation can be used for all or a portion of a criminal’s sentence. For example, 30 days may be served in jail, while an additional six months are served on probation.
- Probation will require the individual to meet with a probation officer regularly.
- The individual will only be permitted to do certain things, such as go to work, attend counseling sessions, etc.
- Sometimes a person may be required to wear ankle monitoring devices while on probation.
Violating the terms of probation is a crime in the state of Florida, and one that comes with serious consequences. There are numerous ways an individual can trigger a probation violation, but usually a violation occurs when conditions of probation are not followed properly. Some common violations can include:
- Not completing assigned community service hours
- Not attending court-ordered counseling sessions
- Not paying court fines or restitution to the victim on time or in the full amount specified by the court
- Not attending scheduled court hearings
- Not obtaining or maintaining employment
- Not reporting to a probation officer or frequently showing up late –or not at all – for regularly scheduled appointments
- Leaving the city or county without permission from the courts
- Visiting individuals or areas that are prohibited as part of the terms of probation, such as visiting individuals with known gang affiliations
- Being arrested for or committing another crime
- Selling, testing positive for, or possessing illegal drugs
What Happens if Probation is Violated?
If the terms of probation are violated, a probation officer will often give a warning for a first offense. A subsequent violation can result in the probation officer reporting that violation to the court, and the court will require the individual to attend a hearing to determine if they can remain on probation or if they will return to jail to serve out the rest of their sentence. If the judge determines that the individual is likely to violate probation again, or their violation was serious, they make revoke probation or add more time to the probation term.
Have You Violated the Terms of Probation?
If your probation officer has given you a warning or you have violated the terms of your probation, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, PA can help. We can defend your violation case and represent you in front of a judge. Call 904-356-8618 or complete an online contact form now for a consultation.