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probation

The Top Three Probation Violations, And What You Can Do To Avoid Making One

The agreement to go on probation requires you to follow all of the rules and conditions of your probation. If you make a mistake, it is not enough to say you did not understand what was required of you. Your responsibility is to know what is expected, and how to do the things you are required to do while on probation. Some of the requirements are obvious, like the requirement to stay out of trouble and not get any new tickets or arrests.

The top three violations of probation, aside from committing a new crime and what you can do to avoid a violation, are:

  • Forgetting to pay your fines and court costs. If you are experiencing financial problems that prevent you from making the payments, it is never a good idea to ignore the problem. Sticking your head in the sand will not solve anything, and will get you in more trouble and possibly end with a revocation of your probation. Rather than take this approach, call your attorney so arrangements for payment can be made.
  • Failing to participate in a court ordered program, such as drug and/or alcohol rehab or driving school. These types of programs are usually part of the probation for a DUI case, and it can be helpful to complete the course as soon as possible so you don’t run out of time.
  • Having a dirty UA or testing positive for a banned substance while on probation. This is a big no-no, and if part of your probation is to remain clean and sober, you need to take every step possible to make sure you do. It might take counseling or rehab, but those things will pay off in the long run if they keep you on track with your probation.

We work hard, and with you, to make sure the terms of your probation are ones that fit your schedule and capabilities. If you are not sure of what is expected of you, ask until the requirement becomes clear. Our experience is that people have no intention of violating their probation, but sometimes life takes a turn. If you have questions about probation, or need help defending a probation violation, call us today.

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.

 

One Big Difference Between A Probation Violation Hearing And Other Criminal Case Hearings

Because most criminal cases are potentially resolved by sentencing the defendant to jail, and because most criminal defendants want to stay out of jail, going on probation is a popular way to resolve many matters. The beauty of agreeing to a term of probation is that you get to stay out of jail, but still have to do certain things that the State considers as punishment. But not everyone is able to comply with the terms of their probation, and so sometimes probation is revoked due to a violation that has been committed. If you are charged with a probation violation you will have hearing and be made to answer for the violation, but this hearing is not like any of the other hearings you have been to for other criminal charges.

One way the hearing for a violation of probation is different from other criminal case hearings is that you do not have the right to a jury at a probation violation hearing. Instead, the Judge will hear the evidence and make a decision. In some instances the final result is that the probation is revoked, and the defendant is made to stand and face the full weight of the potential punishment for the original charge. In addition to having to defend the original charge, the defendant also now has to defend the charge of probation violation. This can be burdensome, and in order to avoid this chance it is best to stay on track with your probation. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you remain violation free while on probation:

  • do not receive any new tickets or arrests while on probation.
  • Pay the fines associated with your case.
  • Make sure you know what the requirements of you probation include, and make a plan early on to meet these requirements. If you are not able to attend a meeting or perform a certain task, immediately contact your attorney rather than simply neglecting the requirement.

Most times probation is reserved for first time offenders, but if you are facing a subsequent charge that does not mean you may not be eligible for probation. Each case is different and requires a thoughtful examination of the facts in order to make a determination as to how to proceed. For more information, call our office.

For help with questions about probation, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. We offer representation for a wide range of offenses, call us to schedule an appointment.

Three Consequences Of Violating Probation

Agreeing to go on probation is one of the most popular ways to resolve criminal cases. The way it works is that if you follow all of the terms and conditions of your probation, at the end of the term you will receive the benefit of your bargain. Most times the bargain is that if you are successful on probation, the charges against you will either be dismissed or reduced. And the best part of going on probation is that you get to server out a sentence without having to spend any time in jail. This scheme is desirable to most criminal defendants, but not everyone is able to abide by the rules and violations of probation happen all the time. The consequences can be severe, but with a little work you can stay on track and avoid committing a violation.

Three of the most significant consequences of a probation violation  are:

  • A violation of probation can send you to jail, and not just for the violation but for the underlying charge for which you were serving probation. This can really add up to more time in jail than most people want to spend, and can make it hard to defend the original case against you.

 

  • A probation violation results in revocation of your probationary term and you are then made to face the full weight of the charges against you, along with defending the probation violation charge. All of the sudden you can find yourself having to defend multiple charges instead of just one.

 

  • Probation violations are also considered crimes, and new charges for the violation will be filed against you.

 

Most violations are easily identifiable, because they are actual violations, which means a new crime has been committed while you were on probation. But it is also possible to violate the terms of your probation unknowingly. This most frequently happens when a defendant fails to report to their probation officer, or fails to pay the fines due on the case. If you are not clear about what you are supposed to do while on probation, call our office. Our probation violation attorneys can help you with your case today.

If you have questions about probation and probation violations, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. Call us to schedule an appointment.

Two Ways To Become A Candidate For Probation

Most criminal cases included the possibility of going to jail. No one wants to spend time behind bars, because it means you are not able to do the things you would normally do during the day. This includes going to school, work, running your kids to their after school activities, or just running an errand. One way to avoid going to jail if you have been arrested for a crime is to agree to go on probation as a way to resolve the charges against you. This is a common solution to many lesser offenses, most notably a DUI. But not only are there restrictions while you are on probation, like staying out of trouble and not getting any new tickets or arrest, there are also certain requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for probation.

Two ways to become a candidate for going on probation as a way to resolve a criminal charge filed against you include:

  • Having a clear record, meaning that you do not have any prior convictions.
  • Having a record that is devoid of any felony charges in your past. If you have previously been charged with a felony, you will not qualify to go on probation.

It is also usually a requirement that you be a first time offender, but that is not always the case. If you are not a first time offender and are interested in being placed on probation, you will need to discuss this matter with your attorney as soon as possible and be prepared for probationary terms that are a bit more strict than what a first time offender receives. Some of the most common requirements for a successful probation include attending rehab or other programs ordered by the Court, in the case of a DUI case you might have to have an interlock device installed in your car, and in all types of cases you are not allowed to be arrested while on probation or receive any tickets. If you are able to follow the rules set forth in your probation, you will receive the benefit of the bargain made which is you get to stay out of jail and at the end of your probationary term the charges against you will probably be reduced. This form of punishment is beneficial to the defendant and also to the State, because it allows a defendant to take responsibility for their actions while allowing the State to impose a sentence.

For help with questions about probation, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. We offer representation for a wide range of offenses, call us to schedule an appointment.

 

The Five Most Common Probation Violations

When you agree to resolve a criminal charge against you by going on probation, you agree to abide by certain rules and regulations for the duration of your probationary period. When making the agreement your attorney should explain the terms to you clearly and completely, so you know what to do while serving out your probation. It is also helpful to go into probation with some basic knowledge of your own, because you are the one ultimately responsible for having a successful probation.

Five of the most common violations of probation, and the things to watch out for while you are on probation are:

  • Forgetting to check in with your probation officer. This takes time out of your schedule, but if you don’t do it, you can be charged with violating your probation. It would be a shame to have your probation revoked over such a minor infraction, so be sure to put all meetings and calls on your calendar and give yourself a reminder.
  • Failing to pay fines and costs. We understand the fees can add up in a criminal case, but if you miss a payment you will be charged with violating probation. If you are having financial problems that prevent you from paying what is due, call your attorney and your probation officer to discuss alternatives.
  • Failing to complete Court ordered courses, such as driving classes or drug and alcohol treatment programs. It is best to schedule these courses as soon as possible, so you do not run out of time during your probation.
  • Testing positive for a controlled substance while on probation. This is a big no-no, so just don’t do it!
  • Committing a new crime while on probation. If you are arrested for a new crime, your probation will be immediately revoked and you will have to stand and defend the new crime, the original crime, and the probation violation charge.

Our goal is to negotiate terms of probation you can handle, and to share in your success. If you are not sure probation is the answer for you, or if you have a question about the terms, make sure to ask. We will take the time necessary to fully explain the process to you, so you walk away from the Courthouse with confidence. We can also help if you have been charged with violating probation, and look forward to discussing your case with you soon. Call us today for help.

If you have questions about probation violations, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. Call us to schedule an appointment.

A Three Step Guide To Defending Probation Violations

While probation remains a popular way to dispose of criminal cases, the number of defendants who are unable to comply with their probationary terms continues to rise. When a violation occurs, a chain of events is set in motion that could land the defendant in jail for longer than what the original sentence would have been and a new charge can also be filed. In order to avoid these harsh consequences, you must stay on track with your probation. That said, we understand that things do sometimes happen that prevent you from staying the course. If you have been charged with a violation of probation, you must act fast and offer an aggressive defense if you want to stay out of jail and avoid having sentence immediately imposed.

A three step guide to defending a probation violation in Florida requires taking a look at the following things:

  • Was the violation technical or actual, meaning was a new crime committed or was the violation the result of failing to pay a fine or some other technicality? The type of violation is important, because your defense must be developed according to what you have been charged with doing that gave rise to the violation.
  • Can the Court hear the case, meaning does the Court have jurisdiction over the violation charge? A common mistake made by the prosecution is in failing to get a warrant prior to the expiration of your probationary term. If you spent any time in jail, those days should be credited towards your probation and when calculating the end date of your term should be counted. If the state fails to charge you while you are still on probation, the Court cannot hear the violation case.
  • Is there enough proof that you violated your probation? The State has the burden of showing this to the Court, and if your terms are ambiguous you might be able to argue that your actions were within the terms. This is not to say you can simply state you did not understand what was expected of you, but if the terms were not written clearly you may have a defense to the violation charge.

If you have been arrested for violating probation, you have to act fast to secure competent representation for your defense. The issue is now one of showing you did not violate the terms of your probation, while also allowing you to remain on probation for the original charge. This requires taking an aggressive defense position on both cases, and should only be done by a qualified attorney. Our team of attorneys has experience in these types of cases, and can help keep you out of trouble. Call us today to learn more.

For help with probation and criminal defense, 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.

 

Seven Ways Probation Can Be Violated Without A New Crime Being Committed

Most people know that if you are on probation you cannot be arrested for any new crime. Most people also know that if an arrest is made while a person is in probation, that is considered a violation and the probation will likely be revoked. This type of scenario will send an accused to jail, with an uphill battle to fight on both the original crime and also on the new crimes, which now includes a violation of probation charge. But did you know there are ways to violate probation that do not involve being arrested or committing any new crime, and that these acts are just as much a violation as being arrested?

Seven ways probation can be violated without a new crime being committed include:

  • Failing to provide your probation officer with a new address. As minor as this seems, you are required to keep your information updated and if it slips your mind to give your probation officer your new address, you can be charged with a technical violation of your probation.
  • Failing to complete Court ordered drug or alcohol treatment programs. Many drug and alcohol related cases, like DUI’s, involve attendance in these programs as part of the probation. If you do not go, or do not finish by the deadline, you can be charged with violating your probation.
  • Testing positive for drugs or alcohol can also be a violation of probation, if one of the terms of your probation as to remain drug and/or alcohol free.
  • Not paying your court costs and fines is a probation violation, and is one of the most common ways probation is violated. Money gets tight and sometimes choices about what bills to pay are made, it is never a good idea to put off paying court costs and fines while on probation.
  • In some instances, one of the requirements of probation is that the defendant not leave the state or country. If you take a family vacation and leave the geographic area to which you are restricted, you will commit a probation violation. This requirement is most generally reserved for more serious cases, but can be imposed upon request of the prosecution. If this is a part of your probation, stay put!
  • Failing to provide documents and reports to your probation officer when asked is a violation.
  • Providing false information to your probation officer is a probation violation.

When a violation occurs, the probation is revoked and the defendant no longer receives the benefit of the bargain made. What this means in most cases is a trip to jail, and the need to now defend multiple charges. For help with probation and with probation violations, call one of our skilled criminal defense attorneys today.

If you need help with probation, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

The Top Three Things To Remember About Probation

Being placed on probation allows a criminal defendant to stay out of jail, while still serving their sentence. This makes probation desirable, but few people truly understand just what is required of them when they enter probation. There are numerous ways probation can be violated, and if you commit a violation you will be in more trouble than you were originally. So, when considering probation as a resolution option, be sure you are aware of all the rules and requirements before making your final decision. One way you can make certain to know what to do while on probation is to let a qualified defense attorney help you with your case. With the right counsel on your side, you will be given a thorough briefing on what to expect and this can help lead to a successful probationary term.

But, your attorney can only help you so much. Successful completion of probation is up to you, and here are the top three things to know that will help you reach your goal:

  • You are not allowed to commit any crime while on probation, or be arrested for anything.
  • You have to follow the administrative rules as well, because a violation of one of those rules is also a violation of probation. This type of probation violation is considered a technical violation, but it is a violation just the same and can lead to revocation of your probation.
  • Pay your fines and costs when due, and if you are having trouble making a payment be sure to communicate that to someone who can help you. Simply missing a payment is not an option, so call your attorney well in advance of the due date if you are unable to pay your costs.

The benefit of probation is staying out of jail, and the State benefits too because the defendant still gets punished. This can be a win/win for both sides, but only if you are clear on the terms and are willing to put in the work required to meet those terms. Probation is not necessarily easy, but it is by far a better option than spending time in jail. Being able to maintain your freedom should be motivation enough to stay on track and have a good case. But sometimes things do happen, and when they do we can help with violations also. If you have questions about probation or how to defend a violation of probation charge, call us now. We will be happy to talk over your options with you, and help you make choices about your case that work for you.

If you have questions about probation or 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.

A Few New Ways To Violate Probation

The title of this blog may be misleading, because who would actually want to violate the terms of their probation? The answer is likely “no one”, because if you violate your probation you do not receive the benefit of the bargain you made when agreeing to go on probation. That said, violations do happen, and when they do it is imperative to aggressively defend the new charge of violation of probation (VOP). A successful defense to a VOP charge can keep you out of jail and might just also allow you to bargain for other favorable outcomes.

Violations occur in one of two ways, either by committing a new crime or by committing a technical violation. A new crime violation is pretty self-explanatory, it happens when the defendant engages in a new activity other than the one for which they are serving probation, and get arrested for that new act. But a technical violation is less clear, and happens when the defendant fails to comply with one of the terms of their probation. Even a technical violation can lead to a VOP charge, so you have to be very clear on what you are supposed to be doing while on probation in order to avoid a VOP claim being made against you. And now, starting over a month ago on July 1, 2016 there are new punishments for technical violations. The law now calls for:

  • New punishments are available for technical violations.
  • The additional punishment is county specific, with each county given the authority to impose their own sanctions for a probation violation.
  • Participation in the new punishment scheme is voluntary, but it might lead to fewer people finding themselves in jail for committing a technical violation of their probation.

Staying out of jail while serving your sentence is the most attractive part of agreeing to go on probation. If you have been charged with a probation violation, call us for help. We will examine the facts of your case and present your options for results that are satisfactory. We understand your need to maintain your freedom, and will fight hard on your behalf.

If you need help with probation, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

Two Top Benefits To Having A Successful Probation

Probation is one of the most common ways to resolve a case against you. Defendants find going on probation attractive because it keeps them out of jail, and the prosecution is happy too because the defendant is required to do certain things while they are on probation. The end result is that the accused does their “time”, but gets to do it outside the four walls of the prison. The key is to meet all of the probationary requirements, and if you are able to do that, the rewards are great. Most often the agreement is that if the defendant is successful on probation, the charges are either dismissed or reduced at the end of the probationary term.

Two of the top benefits of having a successful probation term include:

  • A reduction or dismissal of the charges against you, which can pave the way for a possible expungement of the charges from your criminal record. An expungement is not available in every case, but for those cases where it is an option, staying on track with your probation can mean a clean record down the road.
  • Going on probation keeps you out of jail, which means you can still go to work or school while serving your sentence. For most people this is the biggest benefit of probation, because it allows you to maintain some semblance of your normal day to day routine.

 

If these benefits sound good to you, make sure you understand all of the requirements of your probation before agreeing to the terms. If you are not able to fulfill all of the probationary requirements you can be charged with a probation violation. A violation is a new charge against you, so you will now have two cases instead of one to defend, and a violation also results in the revocation of your probation. This is not a desirable position to be in, but it does happen. If you have questions about probation, or have been charged with violating your probation, you must act quickly to protect yourself. Call our office and talk with one of our qualified criminal defense attorneys today to find out your next step.

If you have been charged with a probation violation, or have questions about what is included in agreeing to go on 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.