If you’ve been accused of a probation violation, you may or may not go to jail. This will depend on:
- The type of violation
- Whether your probation officer lets you off with a warning or requires a court appearance
- The outcome of your probation violation hearing, if you have one
Probation officers can exercise their discretion for most minor or first-time violations, meaning they may let you off with a warning. For more severe or repeat violations, however, you’ll likely face a hearing before a judge, who will decide whether you committed the violation and what penalty is appropriate.
Penalties may include extending probation, modifying the terms of your probation, or even enforcing the full jail or prison sentence for the crime you were put on probation for.
Immediate Arrests for Probation Violations
There are some situations were a violation of probation can result in your immediate arrest, such as allegedly:
- Violating a restraining order
- Committing a new crime
- Failing to appear in court
These are typical scenarios where any person, on probation or not, would face arrest. You have the added complication of being on probation.
Even in these cases, you can exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Your attorney can work to secure your release and can also help you deal with your probation officer and any resulting probation violation hearing—plus any new criminal charges.
Jail/Prison Sentences for Violations of Probation in Florida
You may face jail or prison time if you are found guilty of a probation violation. If your probation officer has decided not to give you a warning and instead moves your case along to a judge for a probation violation hearing, that judge will have the power to decide whether you face incarceration—by imposing the full sentence for the crime you were originally put on probation for.
The following are examples of probation violations that may result in a revocation of probation and the imposition of your full sentence:
- Being convicted of a new crime
- Absconding (moving/changing your phone number without telling your probation officer)
- Multiple lesser probation violations, such as failing to report, failing to pay a fine, missing court-ordered rehabilitation, etc.
Not all probation violations warrant imprisonment, and you have the right to legal counsel so you’re prepared for and represented at your hearing. This is why it is so important to involve your attorney as soon as you’re arrested or learn that you’re accused of violating probation.
To learn more, check out our blog on Tampa, FL probation violation hearings.
You Can Protect Your Freedom
While it’s true that being on probation limits certain rights, you still have the right to an attorney. You and your property can be searched, you may be required to submit to blood testing at any time, and you have to report to your probation officer, but you can involve an attorney if you’re accused of any violation. Give yourself a fighting chance to avoid jail or prison time.
At Thomas & Paulk, we realize how challenging these situations can be. Our Tampa probation violation lawyers have extensive experience with defending probationers, and we have the resources and know-how to defend your interests. To find out more, give us a call at (813) 321-7323 or contact us online.