Tampa Violation of Probation Lawyer
If you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you may have been eligible for probation or community control. Probation is considered a privilege, and not a right, as it allows an offender to re-enter society in lieu of a sentence as long as they are supervised and abide by certain conditions. Community control is similar to probation, but it is a far more restrictive form of supervision and is usually designated for more serious offenses or for repeat offenders. However, if you are on probation or under community control and you willfully and substantially violate the terms of your probation you will likely be penalized.
Some of the most common types of scenarios that lead to a violation of probation include:
• Commission of a new criminal offense;
• Positive drug tests;
• Failure to complete a substance abuse or drug treatment program;
• Failure to pay financial obligations such as court costs, fines, supervision costs, restitution, and other fees;
• Acts that result from mental illness;
• Certain acts that are the result of negligence or ineptitude; and
• Missed appointments with a probation officer.
If your supervising probation officer believes that you have violated probation, they will submit a sworn statement to the court outlining why they have reasonable grounds to believe that you committed a violation of your probation. The court will review the officer’s allegations, decide whether reasonable grounds exist and if so, issue a warrant for your arrest. After you are arrested, you will likely be thrown in jail without bond until bond can be requested. The court will eventually schedule an evidentiary hearing on the alleged violation where the state will have to prove that you willfully and substantially violated the terms of your probation.
The court proceedings for probation violations are very different from those involving new criminal charges, particularly because there are fewer legal protections in probation violation proceedings. For example, you have no right to a jury trial in a violation hearing, and you can be forced to testify against yourself. Moreover, the court does not need to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
How Much Time Do You Get if You Violate Probation?
If the court finds that you violated your probation or community control, the judge may decide to do one of three things: (1) modify your probation; (2) reinstate your probation; or (3) revoke your probation. If your probation or community control is revoked, the judge may impose the sentence you might have originally received for your underlying offense. In fact, under Florida law, the judge can impose the maximum penalty you could have received for the offense for which you were placed on probation. For instance, if you received two years of probation for a third degree felony and you failed to comply with one of your probation conditions, the court could thereafter sentence you to five years in prison which is the maximum prison sentence for a third degree felony.
Contact Seasoned and Experienced Tampa VOP Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. Today for Your Free Consultation
If you have been placed on probation or community control and are now being accused of violating the conditions of probation or community control, be sure to contact experienced Tampa VOP Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. immediately in order to preserve and protect your legal rights. Alleged probation violations should be taken seriously because if a judge revokes your probation, you could be facing the maximum prison sentence that you would have received for the underlying offense you are on probation for. Contact Tampa VOP Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. today by calling (813) 234-6374. We are available 24/7 so call anytime to schedule your free and confidential consultation.