Florida Community Supervision Programs
Florida courts and the Department of Corrections use community supervision programs to punish minor crimes, reduce jail and prison populations, and transition inmates back into the community. These programs include probation, parole, and conditional release, allowing you to work and live at home instead of being incarcerated.
When you receive probation, parole, or conditional release, the judge or the Department of Corrections will inform you of your conditions. You must meet with a PO from the Office of Community Corrections. The PO will review your conditions with you. You will then sign a document stating you understand and agree to abide by your conditions.
What Is a Probation Violation in Florida?
A probation violation happens when you fail to meet the conditions of your release. Some common conditions include:
- Keeping your PO informed of your address and employment at all times
- Remaining in Florida unless you receive permission to travel from your PO
- Not committing any new crimes
- Reporting all contact with police officers to your PO
Depending on your charges, you may have additional conditions, such as passing drug tests and attending substance abuse treatment.
Common Probation Violations
Two of the most common probation violations come from being in the wrong place. The first happens when you are not where you are supposed to be. For example, if you fail to inform your PO before you sleep over at a friend’s home or travel out of town to visit relatives, you may have violated your probation.
A common variation of this violation happens when you break curfew. Breaking curfew without informing your PO could trigger a probation violation even if you were at work or stuck in traffic.
The second happens when you are somewhere you should not be. Depending on your charges, a judge might block you from contacting codefendants or victims. If your charges included sex crimes, you might not be permitted near schools. When your PO finds you somewhere you are not allowed, you may get hit with a violation.
What Happens if You’re Accused of Violating Probation?
Your PO will first notify you of the violation. In some cases, you could be arrested and taken to jail immediately. You will remain in jail until you bail out or receive a judicial hearing.
Your Tampa probation violation lawyer can present your defense at this hearing. If a judge finds no violation, you will get released to resume your probation. If the judge finds a violation, you could face a range of penalties, including incarceration.
Not all violations result in jail time. Sometimes, the PO may simply allow the violation to slide. They may enter certain violations in your record but not impose any punishment. Finally, the PO may impose administrative punishment that does not require a court hearing. For example, they may impose a curfew or take away privileges, such as overnight travel.
Penalties for Violating Probation in Tampa
Judges have fairly wide discretion in punishing probation violations. Some possible outcomes include:
- Extending your probation so you can try again
- Modifying your probation to impose new conditions
- Revoking your probation and sending you to jail to complete your sentence
Keep in mind that if your violation produced new criminal charges, you could face additional punishments.
Can Probation Be Modified or Revoked?
A judge can revoke your probation and send you to jail. This usually happens when the judge does not believe you can comply with the conditions required for community release. Some situations where this might happen include getting charged with a new crime, absconding, or committing multiple probation violations.
Suppose your Tampa probation violation defense lawyer convinces the judge that you have truly attempted to comply with your conditions. In that case, the judge may modify your probation instead of revoking it by:
- Adding time to your probation or restarting the term
- Imposing new conditions, such as requiring substance abuse treatment
- Changing existing conditions, like expanding the list of people you cannot contact
Your punishment may depend on how your probation violation lawyer in Tampa defends you.