Search
  • Seth Hyman Law

Will I go to jail for my violation of probation?

Probation is a slippery slope and you've lost your footing


The vast majority of people are thinking about one thing when resolving a case, "How do I make sure I don't go back to jail." With this mind set, they sometimes take a plea deal where they are placed on probation, but probation is not the right resolution for everyone. Depending on how long the probation term is, and if the probationer is likely to violate, probation can sometimes end up being worse than just spending a little bit of time behind bars. Many more people violate probation than you would imagine for small mistakes such as being late for a meeting with a probation officer, moving to a new home without notifying their probation officer, changing jobs without notifying their probation officer, leaving their county of residence without the permission of their probation officer, or testing positive for weed or another drug along with many more pitfalls. The easiest way to avoid this is to obtain your probation officer's cell number and email and stay in constant communication with them. If you can't reach them, then call their supervisor.


But your honor, it wasn't that big of a deal


When a prosecutor offers you probation and a Judge sentences you, they are looking at it like they are doing you a favor. They are giving you a chance to be out in the world, live your life and be with your loved ones, but you must complete all of the conditions of probation perfectly. Completing anything perfectly is hard, so the longer your probationary term, the more likely you may be to violate. If you're not perfect, then your probation officer can file an Affidavit of Violation of Probation and ask a Judge to issue a NO BOND warrant for your arrest. No bond means you sit in jail, sometimes months, waiting on the case to be resolved. However, if you have a good relationship with your probation officer and the case you violated on is just a misdemeanor, the probation officer may only issue a summons to appear so you won't be arrested. Don't think this means anything about how the Judge or prosecutor will view your case. They believe they were giving you a chance and your violation is viewed as a slap in the face.


Innocent until proven guilty


Just like in your underlying case, the prosecutor must prove that you intentionally and voluntarily violated a condition of your probation so you can't be violated for not having a job or being poor. The problem with that is the Judge is the one to decide if your violation was intentional, not you. It is easier for the prosecutor to prove a violation of probation as the standard of proof is lower, only a preponderance of the evidence or more likely than not, rather than beyond all reasonable doubt. Additionally, hearsay is admissible in violation of probation hearings. A new law offense is the most serious issue when violating probation. If the violation is anything else, that is called a technical violation. Both violations, if proven, can result in the Judge re-sentencing you on your underlying crime UP TO THE MAXIMUM. The sentence is not based on how you violated, so you can get slammed for a tiny violation of probation. You may think driving without a license is not a big deal, but a new crime committed while out on probation will be dealt with harshly.


A violation of probation is a highly dangerous situation that can be made easier by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. Seth Hyman Law ( https://www.sethhymanlaw.com ) exclusively provides legal assistance in criminal, DUI, and driving offense cases throughout Central Florida. Call 407-274-7501 or email seth@sethhymanlaw.com for a free consultation.

7 views0 comments