Agreeing to go on probation is a popular way to resolve a criminal charge against you. The benefit to the defendant going on probation is that you get to stay out of jail while serving your sentence. Staying out of jail is the most attractive aspect of probation for most criminal defendants. And, for the prosecution, the benefit of probation is that the defendant is still punished, has to follow certain terms that should rehabilitate the defendant, and, if the defendant fails to follow the rules, the defendant may be incarcerated in the future.
The key to having a successful probationary term is to follow all of the rules and regulations in place. If you can do this, you will be rewarded with whatever agreement you made when you decided to go on probation. A typical agreement is one that includes placing the defendant on probation in exchange for reducing or dismissing one or more charges against the defendant, upon successful completion of the probation. If you are not sure what you are supposed to do while on probation, ask(!), because a violation will cause you more trouble.
Two ways to violate probation in Florida include:
• Being arrested for a new crime while you are on probation. This type of violation is called a “substantive violation,” and it is usually easy to identify because it involves committing a new crime or being ticketed for something new.
• Failing to show up for an appointment, or follow one of the administrative rules of your probation. This type of violation is referred to as a “technical violation,” and it can be more difficult to spot than an actual violation.
Regardless of whether you have committed a substantive or a technical violation of your probation, the violation, itself, is a new case and charge that you have to defend. When you have a new charge to defend, on top of the original charge, you have to take an aggressive approach to the defense of your case. We want you to be successful while on probation, because your success is our success. If you have questions, call us today so we can explain the process, and you can be sure you understand what you are agreeing to when you agree to go on probation.
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.