If you have been convicted of a crime in the past, you may have been sentenced to probation rather than jail time, or you may have been ordered to serve only a short period of incarceration followed by a more lengthy term of probation. While probation can be a good thing in that it means less or no jail time if certain conditions are met, it is not an unconditional “get out of jail free” card. There are always terms and requirements to probation, and a failure to abide by these rules can result in the revocation of the defendant’s probation. If you are facing this daunting situation following a conviction of a drug crime or another charge, St. Petersburg and Clearwater probation violation lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law can help you understand the possible ramifications of a revocation of your probation. He can help you fight back against an allegation that you have violated your probation, thereby allowing you to stay on the outside rather than being sent to prison.
Depending upon the circumstances of your conviction (and plea agreement, if applicable), there are several conditions that may have been imposed as part of your probation. These conditions often include not only jail time, fines, and community service but also attending counseling, reporting regularly to a probation officer, paying restitution to the victim of the crime, and complying with restrictions on the use of drugs and alcohol as well as the possession of a firearm or another weapon. While some of these conditions may feel cumbersome and unreasonable, they must be strictly followed.Complying with Probation Requirements in Florida
A probation officer’s job is to meet regularly with the defendant and supervise them in a manner that ensures that they are complying with the terms of their probation. This can include performing random drug tests, checking on the progress of rehabilitation efforts, visiting the defendant’s home, and otherwise verifying that the person on probation is meeting the conditions imposed on them to stay out of jail. As a probation violation attorney in Clearwater or St. Petersburg can tell you, the probation officer’s primary responsibility is to the court, rather than to the defendant. While some probation officers are friendly enough, they are never the defendant’s ally, and they should not be expected to “look the other way” if the defendant fails to meet a condition of probation.
Probation is a privilege in the State of Florida, rather than a right. In the eyes of the law, granting probation instead of jail time, or in conjunction with a shortened sentence, serves the simultaneous function of protecting society against further crimes by the defendant while making a reasonable effort at the rehabilitation of the defendant. If the court believes that the defendant has willfully violated their probation conditions in a substantial manner, probation can be revoked, and the defendant can be sent to prison for the rest of their sentence. The defendant may hire an attorney to represent them at a probation revocation hearing. Since the standard of proof is much lighter at a hearing to revoke probation than at a typical criminal trial (“the greater weight of the evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt”), it is important that the defendant make use of every available legal option.Talk to a Probation Violation Lawyer in Clearwater or St. Petersburg
If you or a loved one is facing a probation revocation hearing, you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Just as being arrested does not automatically mean that a defendant is guilty, however, simply being informed of a revocation hearing does not necessarily mean that probation will in fact be revoked. St. Petersburg and Clearwater probation violation attorney Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law will be glad to talk to you about your situation. Call 727.897.5413 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. We can also help people in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Newport Richey, Dade City, and other areas who need a domestic violence lawyer or assistance in fighting charges of theft crimes, drug offenses, sex crimes, assault, white collar crimes, firearms offenses, and other state and federal charges.