For most people charged with a crime, the first concern is how to stay out of jail. In order to avoid this result, a lot of people facing criminal charges accept a plea offer that includes probation as a way to resolve the case against them. Typically, accepting probation will keep you out of jail, but only if you follow all of the rules while you are serving out your probationary term. If you make a mistake, the consequences can be harsh, and you could end up being punished more severely than what you originally thought might happen.
There are two possible consequences for violating probation.
• Reinstatement. The judge can reinstate you under the same terms and conditions as the original probation term. This is sort of like getting a second bite of the apple.
• Revocation. The judge can revoke your probation, which means the terms and conditions of the original probationary period is over. Then, the judge can institute whatever sentence he or she desires, so long as it is otherwise legal under the law. This means that the judge can implement any sentence under the statute, including prison time.
Unlike a plea offer in a normal case, the parties’ agreement on resolution for a violation of probation has no impact on the judge. He or she can implement whatever sentence they want – so long as it’s otherwise legal.
And, don’t forget, a probation violation is a new charge in and of itself. So, not only will you have to face the full range of punishment possible for the original charges, but you will also have to defend a probation violation charge. Also, if the violation was due to the commission of a new crime, you will have to face those charges too. This type of circumstance can cause you to stand and answer for multiple criminal charges, and the possible punishment can be great.
In order to avoid these harsh realities, it is best to stay on track during your probation. If you are not sure what is expected of you while on probation, speak up and ask! Once you are clear on what you need to do, put a plan in action to make sure you are successful. If you need to change your circle of friends, do so. If there are terms you believe are out of your reach, let your attorney know before the agreement is made. Whatever questions you have about probation, and probation violations, call us today. We consider your success to be our success, and we want to help you put your best foot forward.
If you want more information about how probation works, or what to expect while you are on probation, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West to schedule an appointment today.