Contrary to the opinion of many people on probation, probation is an extension of grace on the part of Florida State, and should be considered a privilege by anyone who is lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to take advantage of it. Not every crime is eligible for probation, and it is very dependent on the circumstances. Just because you know someone who got probation for a DUI conviction doesn’t mean the same will happen to you.
That probation is a privilege is the prevailing opinion of Florida courts, and it is for this reason that violation of probation is viewed with the utmost seriousness, and why doing so can have severe consequences.
Because of prison overcrowding, and a desire to dispense justice and aid with rehabilitation, many criminal prosecutions will end in probation time along with other punitive measures. Probation is defined as a period of time ordered by the court to be served in lieu of jail time.
Depending on the nature of the conviction and the discretion of the judge, specific requirements conditional to release may be imposed, and these requirements must be followed to the letter. Common conditions of probation include but are not limited to:
A technical violation of probation refers to violations that do not stem from new arrests or illegal actions. Failure to adhere entirely to any conditions imposed by the court, such as those mentioned above are grounds for the presiding probation officer to submit a petition for a violation of probation.
A substantive violation refers to new offenses or the new commission of unlawful acts by the person on probation.
Whether that offense is misdemeanor or felony in nature, it will be sufficient in and of itself to void the terms of probation and the privilege of probation is summarily revoked at that time. This is in addition to any penalties imposed for the new offense.
When a probation officer requests a violation of probation order from a court of law, a warrant for arrest is typically signed by the judge at the same time. Some people who fear they have committed an infraction that violates the terms of their probation they will fail to report to their probation officer as mandated, and thus commit the very violation they were afraid of.
It is imperative to retain legal counsel if a person believes they may soon be declared in violation of their probation. Once the arrest warrant is issued, it is likely to be a no bond warrant; meaning that unless an attorney can secure their release, the person is likely to remain incarcerated for weeks, months or even longer, until the time the case is resolved in court.
If you believe you are in violation of probation; whether technical or substantive, any move you make without the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Zlatkin, is likely to be the wrong one. Retaining legal representation as early as possible allows your lawyer to contact the probation officer, clear up any misunderstandings, and negotiate on your behalf sometimes even before the violation petition goes before the judge.