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Myths, Rules, and How to Avoid a Violation of Your Probation

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Probation

Not all people convicted of crimes are sent to jail. Many times, people who have been convicted of a crime, but have a clean record, can be sentenced to probation. Provided the convicted meet specific criteria for a prescribed length of time, they can remain free.

While on probation, the offender is allowed to go to work, provide for their family, pay restitution for their crime, but most importantly, they are allowed to remain free. While this sounds great, probation is not always easy for everyone to follow. If the offender does not follow the conditions of their probation, they will be in violation and arrested. Once arrested, they can be held without bond until going before a judge.

Probation can be costly. Offenders must pay for drug screenings and electronic monitoring. If someone is struggling financially, their probation officer can submit a request for the court to lower the costs or waive the costs. A defense attorney can also request this at sentencing.

A Probation Scenario:
  • Paying fines, court costs, and cost of supervision; 
  • Reporting to the probation department monthly, this may include face to face contact with their probation officer;
  • Submitting to random alcohol/drug screening at their own expense;
  • Not using any alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs that aren’t prescribed to them. All prescribed medicines must be reported to the probation officer;
  • Refraining from associating with people or going to places associated with criminal activities;
  • Also, anyone on probation, even if they are not a convicted felon, is not allowed to possess a firearm while on probation;
  • Report any contact with law enforcement officers, even the slightest contact, e.g. riding in a car with someone who got pulled over.

Not adhering to the probation conditions can result in re-arrest and may include jail or prison time. Violating probation at any time during their probational period is a severe offense that can result in the offender being more severely sentenced.

A Common Myth

Florida does not give credit for time spent on probation. With the help of an experienced defense attorney,  a defendant may be able to persuade a judge to reinstate their probation.

Advice on How to Avoid a Violation of Probation
  • People do not go to jail for not being able to meet their financial parole obligations. 
  • Violation of parole must be substantial and willful. See the Florida Supreme Court case of State v. Carter, 835 So.2d 259 (Fla. 2002) for the definitions of “substantial and willful.” 
  • Offenders on probation must avoid associating with convicted felons and avoid locations where illicit substances are sold. 
  • Offenders on probation must check in with their parole officer each month to fill out a questionnaire.
  • Offenders should report all interactions with the police to their parole officer, even if it is a speeding ticket. 
  • Offenders should always be truthful with their probation officers. 
  • Offenders must pass all drug and alcohol screenings. 

Ronald Chapman

Contact Ronald Chapman today if you or a loved one is charged violating their probation, contact Ronald Chapman. Ronald Chapman is an experienced defense attorney who can help you understand the terms of your probation and how to avoid a violation.

Defense Attorney West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help. Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at https://justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.

 

Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
561-832-4348

 

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