probation

The Top Two Ways To Violate Probation

Agreeing to go on probation is a good way to stay out of jail if you have been charged with a crime. But, it only works if you are able to stick to the terms of your probation. When you do that, you get the benefit of the bargain you made, which most times includes a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. However, if you make a mistake, it can cost you your probation and more. A probation violation is a new charge, so you will now have to defend that charge and the original charge. And when you violate probation, you are likely to be punished to the full extent of the law for the initial charge filed against you. So, knowing what to do while on probation becomes of the upmost importance, and we are here to help get you through this phase of your case successfully.

The first step to making sure you don’t commit a probation violation is in knowing what constitutes a violation. The top two ways to violate probation are:

  • By committing a new crime. Any new crime is a probation violation, and you will then be defending the new crime, the original crime, and the crime of probation violation. If you need to change your circle of friends to stay away from opportunities to get in trouble, we recommend you do so. You will be happier in the end, when you are successful on probation, and can move forward with things that matter.
  • Committing a new crime is an actual violation of probation, but there are also things that are classified as technical violations that will cause your probation to be revoked. The biggest technical violation is falling to pay fines and costs. If you are having financial difficulty, let your attorney know so alternate arrangements can be made if possible. It is also a technical violation to miss an appointment, or fail to check in when scheduled. We recommend you put all important dates on your calendar, and refer to it regularly so you know when and where you are supposed to be taking action to comply with the terms of your probation.

For more information, call our office. We will help you to understand what is expected of you and answer any questions you have about what you can or cannot do while on probation. And, if you have been charged with a probation violation, we can help there too.

 

For more information about probation, call our office today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

Four Things About Probation You May Not Know

Not everyone is well versed in the law, but there are some basic things that are well known. For example, most people know that if a couple gets divorced and they have kids, decisions will have to be made about custody and support. But the intricate details of those decisions are the lesser known things that should be left in the hands of a capable attorney to help determine. In criminal cases it is common knowledge that probation is a good way to resolve a case without having to go to jail. Most people are even aware that there are certain rules and requirements that have to be followed while on probation, and if those rules and requirements are not followed then the probation can be revoked. But there is more to probation and a probation violation than these basics, and knowing a few things can help you make decision about whether probation is right for you.

Four things about probation violations  you may not know include:

  • The State is not put on a timeline to pursue the violation. There is no “statute of limitations” for a probation violation.
  • The Judge is the one who hears the case regarding your violation, there is no right to present evidence about whether a violation occurred to a jury.
  • The State does not have as heavy a burden of proof to meet in order to prosecute a violation. This is different from other criminal charges, where the burden of proof on the State is greater.
  • You may not be allowed to “get out of jail free” while waiting for a hearing on the violation.

Staying the course while on probation can be hard, but when you know the risks it is worth the effort. If you have been arrested for a crime and are considering probation as an option, let us review your case to see what options are available to you. Or, if you have been charged with or arrested for violating probation, call us today for help. We will get to the bottom of the facts and aggressively defend the charges. Most times a violation and the new charge that led to the violation are related, and letting a qualified attorney handle both is more efficient.

If you questions about probation violations, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.

 

Two Unique Facts About Probation Violations

It is pretty common knowledge that if you agree to go on probation to resolve a criminal case against you, you have to do certain things. You also have to refrain from doing certain things, like getting into more trouble. If you are caught doing something you are not supposed to do, such as staying out past curfew or failing to take Court ordered rehab courses; or if you do something you are not supposed to do, like get arrested for a new crime, your probation can be revoked. When probation is revoked the defendant has to figure out how to resolve the original case against them, defend the new case charges, and also defend the probation violation charge. This can be a lot to take in, but with the right criminal defense attorney by your side you can get through this process.

But there are some things you need to know about probation violations when you are helping to develop your defense, because this type of crime is different from other crimes. Two unique facts about probation violations are:

  • You do not get to present your case to a jury. The judge will decide whether you are guilty of a violation, and this can be somewhat scary for some people. Facing a Judge can be intimidating, but we are not afraid to put on an aggressive defense for you to the Judge.
  • The prosecution does not have to meet as high of a burden of proof as they do in other types of criminal cases. This can make it difficult to defeat their proof, but that does not mean it cannot be done or that satisfactory results are out of reach.

The best thing you can do if you are placed on probation is to make sure you understand all of the terms. If you have a question, ask your attorney. A skilled attorney will be able to not only negotiate terms you can live with, but will also be able to explain those terms to you clearly. Our team of criminal defense attorneys is ready to help you with a successful probation today, and can also help if you have been charged with a probation violation.

For help with probation or probation violations, call our office to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. We help people charged with all sorts of crimes in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Five Things You Might Not Know About Probation

VOP probation technical violation

Probation is an excellent option if you can follow the rules.

If you have been placed on probation then you know that there are certain things you can do and certain things that are prohibited. You probably also know that if you do something that is prohibited you can be charged with violating your probation. A probation violation or VOP is a new charge that you have to defend, and with every violation comes the risk that your supervision will be revoked. All of this is should sound familiar if you have been arrested and negotiated a plea that included a term of probation. But there are also some things about probation that are not as obvious, but just as important.

Five things you might not know about probation, but should if you are considering agreeing to a term, are:

  • You might be subject to a random drug test, even if you were not arrested on a drug charge initially.
  • If you have been ordered not to “associate” with someone who is engaging in criminal activity, which might extend to minor violations. It is clear that you should stay away from hanging out with people who are dealing drugs or committing armed robbery, but what happens if you are out with a friend who gets arrested for public intoxication? That might be considered “associating with someone engaged in unlawful activity”.
  • Not all scientific proof has to be supported by an actual scientist. So, if you fail a one of the random drug tests mentioned above, don’t expect to get an opportunity to cross examine someone with scientific knowledge about the test itself.
  • Staying out past curfew can be a violation, and as easy as it is to lose track of time, this is a pretty common violation but one that gets little attention.
  • If you are caught committing a new crime, it might not be the best idea to enter a plea to that charge because doing so might be used as evidence in the case against you for VOP. You have to be very careful about how you respond to violation charges, or you risk digging a deeper hole.

The idea of going on probation sounds easy enough, but the little nuances described above show some of the complexities that must be considered first. If you have questions about probation or have been charged with a violation of probation, call us for help.

 

For more information about probation and VOP, call us today to schedule an appointment. One of our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast is here to help you and your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Six Pitfalls Of Probation Violations

Most people know that if they agree to go on probation, they will have to follow certain rules and procedures and if they do not, that their probation can be revoked. It is also pretty common knowledge that when probation is revoked, you face a much more harsh punishment, which could lead to you spending some time in jail. But there are other aspects of probation violations that are not as well-known, but should be if you are considering going on probation or have been charged with a violation of probation.

Six pitfalls of probation violations that you may not know about include the following:

  • There is no time limit for pursuing the violation. So if you think you can avoid prosecution of a violation by leaving the state, you will be surprised upon coming home to find out you are still liable for the violation and could be arrested and hauled into Court to face the charges.
  • The standard for a conviction is not as stringent; the State does not have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When the legal standard is not as high, the likelihood of being convicted increases.
  • You will probably be denied bond while waiting for your hearing. This is different from the first time around, where you likely bonded out while you waited to go to Court and agree to your probation.
  • The right to a trial by jury is not an option, so the Judge will be the one deciding your fate rather than a “jury of your peers”. Most times Judges are more hardnosed than what a jury might be, so you have to fight even harder for a good result.
  • The rules of evidence are not as strict, and hearsay statements can be brought into Court and used against you.
  • You will be asked questions, the answers to which may amount to you basically incrimi9nating yourself.

This list makes it easy to see how important it is to stay on track while on probation, or else you could fall victim to a more harsh punishment. If you have been arrested for a crime, let us help you get the best result possible. If probation is right for you, we will work hard to make sure the terms are ones you can follow and that you understand. If you are already on probation and have been charged with a violation, we can help there too. Call us today to find out more.

Five Steps To Know About If You Are Caught Violating Probation

When you agree to a term of probation to resolve a criminal charge against you, you have to be sure to follow the rules to the letter or you risk violating your probation. If a probation violation occurs, you can be charged with the new crime of probation violation as well as whatever crime led to the violation. This amounts to at least two new charges against you, and you also no longer get the benefit of your probation agreement, which means the original charge can now be prosecuted in full. These possibilities are severe, and can lead to jail time and additional fines that have to be paid. So, if you are charged with violating your probation, you need to know where to turn for help.

Five things that can happen when you are caught violating probation are:

  • Your probation will be revoked, leaving you to stand and face the full range of possible punishment for the original crime.
  • You will be charged with whatever new crime has been committed, and may not be offered probation as a way to resolve that case.
  • You will be charged with violating probation, which is a separate charge in and of itself.
  • You could be arrested, or have a warrant for your arrest issued that leads to an eventual arrest.
  • You may have to spend some time behind bars.

Most probation violations are defined as actual violations, which means the defendant has committed a new crime while on probation. But it is also possible to commit a technical violation of probation, which could be something as minor as forgetting to pay a fine when due or failing to report in as scheduled. In order to avoid a violation, make sure you understand all of the terms of your probation before the agreement is final. The best way to do this is to have a competent defense attorney negotiate your probation. Our staff is skilled at working out probation plans that make sense, and that you can follow. Because if your probation contains unreasonable terms, the chances of being successful while on probation are slim. For help, call us today.

For answers to questions about violations of probation, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you today. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Three Things NOT To Expect While On Probation

If you have been charged with a crime and are considering going on probation to resolve the charges against you, it is important to understand exactly what is involved. A lot of people leave the Courtroom uncertain about the rules and requirements of their probation, and so make a mistake that leads to a violation and revocation of their probation. This is truly tragic, because in most instances the violations can be avoided and the defendant given the benefit of the probation agreement made. Our job is to help walk you through the process, so you go into your probationary term fully prepared. A good way to start is to understand what probation involves, and also what probation does not involve.
Three things you should not expect while on probation are:

  • That it will be a cake walk. That is not to say that all of the terms are going to be burdensome, but the reality is probation is still a form of punishment. So if you enter your probationary term with the idea that it will be “no big deal”, you are more likely to make a mistake.
  • That it is an automatic get out of jail free card. While you do get to avoid jail time by agreeing to go on probation, one misstep can land you behind bars. So take your probation seriously, and you will be successful.
  • That you can commit minor offenses and still remain on probation. One of the hallmarks of any term of probation is that the defendant remains “trouble free”. This includes getting tickets for traffic violations, or being arrested for a new crime.

We want you to be successful, so that you get the benefit of the bargain you made when negotiating your probation. In many cases the agreement calls for the defendant to do or refrain from doing certain things for a period of time, and at the end of that timeframe the charges are either dismissed or reduced. Let us help you make decisions that make sense, and that include terms you can handle. Call our office today for help with criminal defense, and to learn more about probation and probation violations.

If you questions about probation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.

 

The Three Best Ways To Violate Probation

If you have decided to take an offer of probation in order to avoid going to jail while also resolving criminal charges against you, you must take special care to follow all of the rules if you expect a good result. The Court will expect you to know what you are allowed to do, and what you are not allowed to do while on probation. If you do not understand any of the terms of your probation, you will not be given a “free pass” for that misunderstanding and the results can be quite harsh. But it is not always clear what the rules are, so before you take an offer of probation to resolve your case, be sure to get an explanation of the terms.

The three most common violations of probation, and thus the three best ways to commit a violation are:

  • Being arrested for a new crime. This is the number one no-no when on probation, and most people will tell you to avoid even a minor traffic ticket while you are on probation. If you get arrest for something new before your probation is up, you will be charged with that new crime and also with violating your probation. This is like a double whammy and requires a strong defense to resolve.
  • Failing to pay costs and fines when they are due. We understand that money can be tight, but if you decide to skip out on a court cost payment you can be found to have violated the terms of your probation.
  • Skipping out on the requirement to attend court ordered rehabilitation or other programs. It is common in cases that involve drinking and driving, like a DUI, to be required to go to driving school. If you decide not to go, you will not be given the required certificate of completion needed to meet the terms of your probation. The best idea is to schedule attendance at these types of schools and programs as soon as possible, so you don’t get in a time crunch too near the end of your probationary term. Once you complete these courses you will have one less thing on your plate and can focus on what is left to be done.

Our approach is to work with you for a full understanding of the terms of your probation. If you are not clear, we will give a satisfactory explanation. If you do not think a particular term is manageable, we need to know as soon as possible so other options can be explored.

For answers to questions about how to stay on track with probation or how to best defend a violation, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Three Parts To Defending A Probation Violation

Agreeing to go on probation as a way to avoid jail time is a good idea if you are prepared to follow the rules of the probation. Every case is different, but in all cases you will be required to pay court costs and fines, and to stay out of trouble while on probation. If you are successful, you will enjoy a reduction in charges or even dismissal of the charges at the end of your probationary term, depending in the bargain you made. But if you make a mistake, you will be fully responsible for the charges, as well as have to defend new charges and the violation of probation charge.

Defending a charge of violation of probation can be tricky, but when you know how the case is structured, you are better prepared for the task. There are three parts to defending a probation violation, and these include:

  • Defending either an actual or technical violation. A technical violation might be hard to spot, because it is a violation that includes failing to abide by certain administrative terms of your probation. But an actual violation, on the other hand, is easy to identify because it involves committing a new crime.
  • Determining the possible range of punishment for the violation, and then developing a defense that addresses that punishment. Knowing what you are up against will help you to pinpoint which facts are relevant to your defense, and which ones should be kept out of Court.
  • Making sure you appear in Court when required, to defend not only the violation of probation charge, but also the new crime.

It is not always easy to tell what you are supposed to do while on probation, so if you have questions, be sure to ask your attorney. We have seen it all, and can help you to be clear on what is required of you while serving a term of probation. If you are on probation and have been charged with a violation, of if you are not sure whether to accept an offer of probation, call us for help. We will go over your options with you and help you make a decision that works for you.

If you have questions about how to defend a probation violation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.

 

Three Important Things To Know About Probation Before Agreeing To A Term

When you get arrested for a crime one of your first thoughts is probably along the lines of what you can do to stay out of jail. One option is to deny the charges and take your case before the Judge or jury to ask for a finding of not guilty. But there are other options, and for many it is nice to know what choices exist because putting your fate in the hands of the Court or a jury is too risky. One of the most popular options is to go on probation. The point of probation is to punish defendants without sending them to jail, and is available in certain types of cases. If your case is eligible for probation, there are some things you will need to know before you make an agreement. Without knowing what you are getting into, it will be hard to be successful, so we explain things to you fully beforehand to ensure your success after making the agreement.

Three important things to know about probation before agreeing to a probationary term are:

  • It only works if you follow the rules. The minute you stray from the course of requirements, your probation can be revoked. If your probation is revoked you will no longer get the benefit of the agreement made, and will also have to defend against the new charge of violation of probation.
  • It is not easy, and will require you to put forth some effort. There may be terms that require you to have equipment installed in your car, like an interlock device if you are charged with DUI. Or, you may have to perform a certain number of community service hours or attend court ordered drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation programs. It is essential that you make the time to comply with these requirements, or you will be hard pressed to complete all that is required of you in time.
  • It requires you to make a commitment to see it through to the end. We find that making arrangements to comply with things that you do not normally do as soon as possible after entering probation increases the chances of your success. No one likes to run out of time on a big project at work or school, and if you look at probation the same way and plan in advance you will be more likely to be pleased with the end result.

We can help you negotiate probation terms you can stick to, and that you understand. We can also help if you have violated your probation. Call us today to find out more.

If you questions about probation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.

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