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Violation of Probation
Often times in Florida, in lieu of incarceration, offenders are placed on probation for a period of time. When an individual is placed on probation, they are given “terms of supervision” that they must abide by. The terms of an individual’s supervision can vary wildly and depend on what the underlying charge was for.
There can be an imposition of community service hours, restrictions on the use of mind-altering substances, required drug and alcohol screenings, restitution to victims and numerous other possibilities. The probationer is also likely to be required to schedule visits to the Florida Department of Corrections for meetings with their probation officer. Probationers are also generally required to request permission to leave the county in which they live during the terms of supervision. Probationers are required to seek court approval for any travel outside of the state of Florida while on probation.
A failure to abide by any of the terms of supervision set forth in the probation can result in a technical violation of probation, which could result in the probationer being sentenced on the original charge he or she was granted probation for. A violation of probation is also, in and of itself, a potential separate criminal charge. The charging of the violation of probation as a separate criminal charge is at the discretion of the trial court that imposed probation.
When considering whether a probationer is in violation of the terms of his or her supervision, the courts must consider whether the violation was “willful and substantial.” That being said, most any of the terms of supervision will be substantial for purpose of finding a violation of probation has occurred.
If you are under supervision and you believe you may have violated your probation, it is best that you address it as quickly as possible. Often times, if you can get the opportunity to meet with your probation officer and discuss the potential violation, then there may be an ability to prevent the violation from ever occurring in the first place. There are only two entities with the power to find that you are in violation of probation – the probation officer assigned to your case and the judge in the trial court that imposed probation in lieu of incarceration.
With that in mind, if you are aware of the fact that your probation officer is likely to file a report with the court, please reach out to us for a consultation at (727) 933-0015. The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are ready, willing and able to help you defend against a potential violation of your probation.