What counts as a probation violation? What are my rights?
Probation is a common aspect of misdemeanor and felony convictions, and the terms and conditions of probation are specific to each case. You should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you have questions about the terms and conditions of your probation. With that said, following are some common probation violations in Palm Beach County:
- Not reporting to a probation officer as scheduled
- Not appearing for a scheduled court appearance
- Not paying court-ordered fines
- Not completing court-ordered programs, rehabilitation or community service
- Not informing the court of a change of address
- Possession, use or sale of illegal drugs
- Use of alcohol if alcohol consumption has been prohibited by the court
- Getting arrested for or committing another crime
- Traveling out of state or out of jurisdiction without your probation officer’s permission
- Visiting people or places that the court has prohibited you from visiting
Depending on the facts of the case, the penalties for a probation violation can vary widely. Factors that can affect the penalties for a probation violation include:
- The type and severity of the violation
- Whether you have violated probation in the past
- Whether other circumstances exist that could lessen or worsen the severity of the violation
If you are found guilty of a probation violation, you could face serious penalties, including extended probation, jail time and heavy fines. A judge may also revoke your probation and require you to serve the remainder of your original sentence in jail or prison.
In most cases, judges will not allow bail if you are arrested for a probation violation, and you will likely have to remain in jail up until your probation hearing.
IMPORTANT: You need to understand that you have legal rights at a probation hearing. Those rights include your right to receive written notice of the alleged violations; to have an attorney represent you; to be heard by a judge; and to present evidence in your defense. In many cases, the potential penalties can be significantly mitigated with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At the Law Office of Scott N. Richardson, P.A., we represent criminal defense clients throughout Palm Beach County. Please see our probation violation overview to learn more.