Understanding Probation Violations
Being arrested and placed in jail is a serious matter, no matter the reason for the arrest. So when you’ve been granted probation, it should be treated with respect and reverence. Probation is a second chance to live your life outside of jail with guarded normalcy. Which is why probation violation is taken so seriously.
How serious is a probation violation?
In the State of Florida, willfully violating your probation is serious and can result in severe penalties. The penalties will be based on the original crime of your arrest and any additional crime committed at the time of the probation violation.
The judge will have the authority to take several different actions with a probation violation case. One option they have will be revoking the probation, meaning you are returned to jail immediately. The judge can also impose other types of penalties in addition to the jail sentencing for probation violation.
What is considered a probation violation?
The list of probation violations is short but severe. Within each violation listed here, there can be different scenarios considered:
- New offenses or violations of the law
- Failed alcohol or drug testing
- Failure to attend or complete a substance abuse treatment program or meetings
- Failure to meet financial obligation to the court and/or victim
- Acts resulting from mental illness
- Acts resulting from ineptitude or negligence
- Missed court dates, probation appointments, failure to file reports
Is bail the same as probation?
No, they are totally different but similar in many ways. Bail is paid once you’ve been arrested and will release you from jail until your court date. The act of paying bail is known as “bonding out” of jail.
A bond requires less money out of pocket at the time a defendant is released. Typically, a bond costs 10% of the bail amount declared by the judge during arraignment. It allows the defendant to leave the jail and return home, hopefully still employed, until their court date.
There are restrictions to be met by the defendant until their court date. When their court date arrives, they could be found guilty and returned to jail or given probation. Those restrictions usually include not leaving town, following the law in all cases, and not returning to the scene of the crime or associating with known criminals or associates involved in the original arrest.
Probation is what the judge grants once a defendant has been found guilty of charges. They are allowed to leave jail and resume their normal life with some restrictions to their life that may include one of any combination of the following:
- Report to the probation officer as assigned by the courts
- Accept visits from a probation officer in home, work, or other locations
- Obtain and remain employed in an acceptable job
- Stay within city, county, or state limits as stated by the court
- No new legal offenses
- Pay restitution to any parties or victims harmed by the committed crime
- Maintain financial support for dependents
- No associating with any person(s) that engage in criminal activities
- Submit to random alcohol and/or drug testing
- No possession of or ownership of any firearms
- No possession or use of controlled substances not prescribed by a physician
A defendant on probation should take the matter seriously and avoid any possible probation violation. Absolute compliance to the various terms and conditions is required with zero violation. Any probation violation is subjected to further legal action, including possible jail time.
Do you always go to jail for violation of probation?
No, any probation violation will be reviewed by the judge. The original crime that resulted in probation and the type of probation violation will factor in the judge’s decision to revoke the probation. A revoked probation can be punished by a minimum of one year and up to a maximum penalty of the original offense with a minimum of one year jail time.
How can I avoid jail time for probation violation?
The first recommendation would be not to have any probation violation, but it happens. For any probation violation, you’ll find immediate jail time until you are scheduled to appear before the judge. When you are presented before the courts for your probation violation, having an experienced defense attorney is the best way to avoid any extensive jail time.
Do you get bail if you violate probation?
Not without a court hearing. You will be held in jail until you are presented before the courts, with or without an attorney. At that time, the judge will review the facts of the probation violation and the original arrest that resulted in probation. You, or your defense attorney, will have an opportunity to present your case to the judge.
How do you beat a probation violation?
It is recommended to have a criminal defense attorney present when you see the judge for a probation violation. They will have the expertise and knowledge to navigate the system. Some ways they will suggest beating the charges of probation violation may include:
- Prove you didn’t violate probation.
- Make any amends and repairs possible to the violation.
- Work to repair the probation violation and other failings.
- Be a positive contributing member to society.
- Seek and follow quality mentors.
In Conclusion – Any Possibility?
Can a probation violation be dismissed? With a good criminal defense attorney representing you, yes, a probation violation could be dismissed. The above suggestions on beating the charges of probation violation are a start. The defense attorney needs to present you in a positive light that overcomes the violation. Meanwhile, if you have found yourself in need of help with bail, you can reach out to the Ammediate Bail Bonds team by calling (321) 631-2663.