St. Petersburg Probation Violations

Criminal Attorney Advocating for Residents of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is considered to have a high rate of violent crime relative to the Florida average. In 2015, for example, there were 14 murders and 136 rapes. There were 1,175 assaults. Property crime is also an issue, with about 10,000 thefts each year. When you plead to a crime and are put on probation, you will be ordered to comply with certain conditions. For example, you may be required to have meetings with a parole officer, to remain in a certain residence or place, to not associate with people engaged in criminal activities, to not carry or own a firearm, to submit to random drug testing, or to perform community service. If you do not adhere to these conditions, you can be charged with the crime of a probation violation. St. Petersburg probation violation lawyer Will Hanlon can examine the circumstances of your case to determine a strategy likely to be successful in defending you.

Technical and Substantive Probation Violations

Probation violations may be technical or substantive. The former occur if you do not comply with one or more probation conditions. For example, if you fail to complete all of your community service hours, this is a technical violation.

Similarly, if you are charged with a DUI, and you do not attend a mandatory alcohol treatment program, this would be a technical probation violation. When a probation officer claims that you committed a technical violation, they can complete an affidavit that says that you violated probation terms. The probation officer will make a recommendation. In some cases, they may recommend that a warrant be issued for your arrest and that you stay in county jail until a hearing can be held. However, different rules are followed at a hearing on a technical probation violation than in a criminal trial.

Unlike with a new criminal charge, you do not have the right to a jury trial on a technical violation. Instead of proving the violation beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution will need to prove a technical probation violation by the greater weight of evidence, which is a lower standard of proof more similar to civil cases. Still, a probation violation attorney in St. Petersburg can play a critical role in protecting your rights.

If you are guilty of a technical violation, your probation can be revoked, and you may be incarcerated. For example, if you got probation for a domestic violence misdemeanor, but you refused to do the community service that the court ordered, you could be sent to jail for the full term for which you were originally sentenced. However, if the issue is minor, we may be able to convince the court to modify your probation instead. For example, if you were ordered to attend school, keep your job, and complete community service, but it was not actually possible to perform the set number of community service hours while also going to school and going to your job, a St. Petersburg probation violation attorney could ask the court to modify the number of hours or the timeline within which this was to be completed.

On the other hand, a substantive probation violation is one for which you can be charged separately. For example, if you commit child abuse while being on probation for domestic violence, this is a substantive violation. You may be charged with child abuse, and you may also face penalties for violating the probation terms. The child abuse charge will need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply being arrested for child abuse may not be sufficient to count as a substantive probation violation.

Get Assistance from a Probation Violation Lawyer in St. Petersburg

If you are charged with a crime, you should consult us as early in the process as possible. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation since 1994. We are dedicated to guarding the rights of the accused. Call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form.