Probation is the punishment ordered by a court for a person in lieu of jail time or in addition to jail time. Probation allows a person to be free from jail, but still requires that person, now known as the probationer, to follow certain terms and conditions set by the court.
While the court may require other specific terms and conditions of a probationer’s probation, the standard conditions of probation under Florida law includes:
1. Reporting to a probation officer as directed by the court;
2. Allowing the probation officer to visit the probationer at his or her home or elsewhere;
3. Remaining gainfully employed insofar as may be possible;
4. Remaining within a specified place;
5. Living without violating any laws;
6. Making restitution to any parties who were harmed, if ordered to do so by the court;
7. Paying the detention facility where the probationer may have been housed for any debt for medical care, if ordered to do so by the court;
8. Supporting probationer’s legal dependents to the best of probationer’s ability;
9. Not associating with persons engaged in criminal activities;
10. Submitting to random drug and/or alcohol testing;
11. Not possessing, carrying, or owning any firearms; and
12. Not using any drugs or narcotics, unless prescribed by a doctor.
A probationer must follow the terms and conditions of his or her probation. When a probationer fails to follow a term or condition of his or her probation, the probationer has violated probation.
There are two basic types of violations: substantive violations and technical violations. A substantive violation occurs when the probationer is alleged to have committed a new criminal offense. A conviction in a court of law, however, is not necessary to establish a substantive violation. A technical violation occurs when the probationer fails to follow any other terms or conditions of probation, such as failing to meet with the probation officer, failing to make required payments for restitution, testing positive for drugs or alcohol, etc.
If a court finds that a probationer has violated his or her probation, the court may
1. Reinstate the probation;
2. Modify the terms and conditions of the probation; or
3. Revoke the probation and impose a new prison term. If a court revokes probation, the court may impose the maximum penalty for the original charge for which the probationer was placed on probation.
It cannot be stressed enough that a violation of probation can lead to serious consequences. Keep in mind that a probationer has less legal protections when fighting a violation of probation charge. For example, there is no time limit within which a prosecutor must charge a probation violation, there is no right to a bond while awaiting a hearing on the charge, there is no right to a jury trial, and the prosecution has a lower burden of proof to prove guilt.
Therefore, a probationer should be properly represented when faced with a violation of probation charge.
Call (904) 239-6047, Attorney David Cronin is here to help.
Criminal defense attorney David S. Cronin has represented thousands of clients in cases ranging from misdemeanor assault to major felony offenses. David Cronin has been practicing law throughout Florida for two decades – working directly with people who are facing harsh penalties for mistakes they wish they could undo.
Hire an attorney who understands your situation and will fight not only to reduce your penalties, but also to uphold your rights.
The Law office of David S. Cronin defends in Duval, Clay, Nassau, and St. John’s counties.
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