Probation is a kind of community supervision that a judge orders in lieu of jail time and other criminal penalties. During probation, the criminal defendant must abide by specific conditions. Failure to abide by these conditions substantially and willfully is a violation of probation and could result in a formal sentence, which might include fines, jail time and community service.
If you have been accused of violating probation, you still have the right to defend yourself, and a VOP lawyer can help. Michael D. Weinstein, PA is a Fort Lauderdale violation of probation attorney who offers a free consultation to all potential clients. Call 1-877-639-4404 to discuss your situation.
Let’s explore some of the most common probation violations in Florida:
- New Criminal Offenses
Committing a new criminal offense while you are on probation for a past offense is one of the most common types of violations. In order to prove that such a violation occurred, the state must present direct evidence that links the defendant to the crime.
An arrest alone does not constitute a violation and subsequent revocation of probation per the precedent set in Ontiveros v. State. Additionally, if the offense occurred before the judge placed the defendant on probation, it is not considered a violation.
- Failed Drug Tests
Individuals who fail drug tests while on probation may face a violation, regardless of whether the crime for which they are on probation had to do with possession or distribution. Pursuant to the precedent set in Weaver v. State, proof of drug use must be reliable. That means testimony from a probation officer who does not have expert knowledge or scientific training is not sufficient.
Failure to complete a drug treatment program can also result in a probation violation. If the defendant willfully failed to complete the program within the timeline that the court ordered, he or she may face the revocation of probation.
- Failure to Pay Financial Obligations
When you face criminal charges, it can result in a number of financial obligations, including court fees, fines, drug testing costs, restitution and other fees. If an individual on probation fails to cover these financial obligations, he or she must prove there exists a legitimate inability to pay; otherwise, a probation violation may result.
- Missed Appointments
Willful and substantial noncompliance that results in missed appointments or a failure to complete any court-ordered programs may constitute a violation of probation. Missing a single appointment with your probation officer may not necessarily be a violation if you have a valid explanation; however, demonstrating a willful negligence that results in multiple missed appointments can have serious repercussions.
The penalties for violating probation vary, but they can be severe. If you have been accused of violating probation, contact Michael D. Weinstein, PA.
Call 1-877-639-4404 to schedule a consultation with a Fort Lauderdale VOP lawyer. You can also learn more about criminal defense strategies in Florida by visiting USAttorneys.com.