Pursuant to Florida Statute 948.011, probation is a privilege, not a right, and violating its terms can have serious consequences. There are two main categories of probation violations, and the penalties you will face depend on the category in which your violation falls.
Revocable offenses are those that immediately authorize a judge to reactivate a jail sentence and send the offender to prison, whereas technical violations are discretions that might result in less severe penalties like additional probation terms. If the technical violations are especially egregious, though, they can result a reactivation of the paused jail sentence, as well.
If you have been accused of violating probation, there is a lot at stake for both you and your family. A criminal defense attorney can help you determine the best way to fight the accusations.
Michael D. Weinstein, PA will evaluate your situation and develop a comprehensive defense based on the unique facts of your case. With the right defense, it may be possible for you to get the violation charges dismissed altogether. Call 1-877-639-4404 to schedule a free case evaluation with a VOP lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
What Are Technical Violations?
Technical violations are those that involve a failure to complete the terms of the probation. In other words, a technical violation is any violation that is not a revocable offense, of which there are only two.
An arrest for a new misdemeanor or felony is a revocable offense, as is absconding, which essentially means disappearing. Any other probation violations are technical offenses. Common technical violations include:
- Testing positive for drugs;
- Missing court-ordered classes;
- Missing appointments;
- Failing to complete community service in the appropriate amount of time; and
- Failing to pay fines and other probation-related fees.
What Are the Penalties for Technical Violations?
Although severe technical violations can result in jail time, Florida courts have some flexibility when it comes to penalizing offenders. In 2016, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 1149 into law. This statute gives county courts the authority to devise their own alternative penalty schemes for correcting those who have committed technical violations.
Pursuant to the new law, courts have the power to resolve such violations quickly and to hold offenders accountable for their actions immediately. The Florida Department of Corrections expects the new law to reduce the prison population and minimize the need to use limited resources to resolve technical violations. Additionally, if offenders comply with the imposed sanctions, HB 1149 essentially allows them to retain their employment status and continue contributing to society in a positive way.
If you are facing accusations of a probation violation, a VOP lawyer will ensure you take the necessary steps to protect your freedom and your future. You can start by discussing your situation with Michael D. Weinstein, PA.
Our office is available 24 hours a day. Call 1-877-639-4404 to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale. You can learn more about criminal defense in Florida by visiting the USAttorneys website.