A probation violation occurs when the conditions of an individual’s probation are broken. The punishment for this occurrence depends on various factors. Common violations include:
- Use of illegal substances
- Committing another crime while on probation
- Getting arrested (even if you’re not charged)
- Not reporting to your probation officer
- Not paying fines
- Traveling to locations/visiting people when not approved by probation officer
Violating one’s probation can result in many serious consequences.
Probation Violation Consequences
1. Court Appearance
There are numerous reasons why someone can be put on probation. When it comes to violations, the assigned probation officer has significant discretion, The officer’s decision may be influenced by prior violations, severity of the violation, and more. Once in the hearing, the officer will detail the specifics of the violation via a sworn affidavit or via actual testimony.
During the probation hearing, a judge will hear evidence of the alleged violation(s). The prosecuting attorney will need to prove any violations by a “preponderance of the evidence”. This means that the likelihood of the violation having occurred is greater than 50 percent. Once accusations are taken into consideration, the judge will determine whether a violation occurred and, if so, decide what penalties are appropriate. In Florida a violation of probation must be both willful and substantial.
If the Court finds that the violation was committed, next comes the sentencing phase. The judge may decide to extend probation, modify probation, or revoke probation altogether (requiring the offender to serve the remainder of the sentence in prison). First time offenders will likely have different consequences than repeat offenders, depending on the circumstances and severity of the violations.
Understanding Your Rights During the Hearing
As with any court appearance, you should understand your rights – and have an expert in your corner to help defend them. Hire our team of experts here in Jacksonville, FL to defend your rights in a probation violation hearing. Contact us 24/7 at 904-355-6777. You can also read more about probation violations on our website anytime.