If you have been convicted of a crime in the state of Florida, you may be facing multiple penalties. Some of these penalties may be a jail or prison sentence, but oftentimes, criminal offenders may only have to serve probation instead.
What is Probation in Florida?
Probation is an alternative to a jail or prison sentence. Probation allows for an offender to serve their sentence in the community as opposed to being confined in jail. It is important to be aware of what your terms of probation are because if they are violated, you can be arrested even if you are unaware you were in direct violation of probation. Hiring an experienced violation of probation attorney in South Florida can help you understand your rights while on probation and help keep you out of jail.
Terms and Conditions of Probation in Florida
Under Florida Statutes Section 948.03, some terms and conditions of probation may include but are not limited to:
- Reporting to assigned probation supervisor
- Do not possess, own, or carry firearms
- Do not use controlled substances unless prescribed by a medical doctor
- Do not associate with other criminals
- Remain employed, or seeking employment
- Stay within your designated area among county or state limits ordered by the judge
- Do not break any laws
Probation should never be taken for granted and it is important to remember that probation is a privilege ordered by a judge and not a right.
What Are the Levels of Probation in Florida?
In the state of Florida, there are multiple levels of probation. Some of the most common levels include:
Administrative Probation (Non-reporting)
Administrative probation in Florida means "no contact". Typically, offenders who are assigned administrative probation in Florida are deemed to be a low risk to the community. In many cases of probation, violators will be assigned administrative probation if half of their first term of probation is satisfactory.
Sex Offender Probation
Sex offender probation in Florida is a form of intensive supervision where an individual may be required to wear a form of electronic monitoring. To be eligible for sex offender probation, a risk assessment must be performed by a qualified practitioner to deem the level of risk that may be associated with the individual if they are on probation.
Drug Offender Probation
Drug offender probation in Florida is a form of intensive supervision that emphasizes treatment of drug offenders throughout probation. Drug offenders will often be provided with individualized treatment plans which are administered by officers with restricted caseloads. These treatment plans must be followed at all times to stay within the terms and conditions of probation.
Community Control Probation (House Arrest)
Community control probation is one of the most restrictive forms of probation in Florida. Community control, also known as house arrest, means the individual must be in supervised custody at all times including surveillance on weekends and holidays. When ordered to house arrest, an offender is restricted to stay within a community, home, or noninstitutional residential placement.
What Happens If I Violate My Probation In Florida?
If you are found to be in violation of probation in Florida, an affidavit will be prepared by your probation officer where a warrant for your arrest will be later issued. Typically, if you are arrested for violation of probation in Florida, you may be held without bond until your court date. A violation of probation in Florida may incur the maximum consequences of the charge that put you on probation initially.
If you miss a probation appointment without notifying your probation officer ahead of time, a violation hearing will be issued. In Florida, you are always entitled to be represented by a probation lawyer at your court hearing. You should never represent yourself in court alone. At your violation hearing, the judge will consider factors such as your reason for missing the appointment, your prior probation record, your previous record while on probation, and your probation officer's professional opinion.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for violating their terms of probation in Florida, The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky can help. Our experienced probation violation defense attorney can help argue if the terms violated were not the purpose of the violation or that you may have been the victim of law enforcement misconduct such as an unlawful search and seizure. To protect your rights, contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 so we can review your case immediately!