Not everyone who is convicted of a criminal offense in Florida spends time in jail or prison. Probation is sometimes chosen as an alternative to incarceration that gives the offender a second chance at a normal life to some extent. In Florida, probation may also be mandated to help ease the overcrowding in our county jails. It is often reserved for individuals accused of misdemeanor crimes, nonviolent crimes, first offenders and juvenile offenders. It is up to the judge to decide whether probation will be a term of an offender’s sentence and it is sometimes just a part of a criminal sentence that also includes fines and serving time in jail.
Probation in the most basic sense is a strict set of rules that an offender must follow in order to avoid further penalties. There are varying levels of probation supervision that depend on the severity of the offense. In general, offenders sentenced to probation in West Palm Beach must report to a probation office in addition to following other common rules that, if broken, could send the offender to jail.
Common Probation Violations in West Palm Beach
Depending on the terms of a person’s probation, there may be several ways to violate them. The most common examples include:
- Failing to complete community service or attend court-ordered counseling
- Failing to pay fines and restitutions
- Failing to appear at scheduled hearings
- Failing to report to the probation officer
- Failing to secure a job
- Failing to stay within the perimeters ordered by the judge (like your city or town)
- Failing to abstain from using, selling, or possessing illegal drugs
- Failing to abstain from committing further crimes
There is little room for leeway when it comes to abiding by the rules of one’s probation; however, simply violating the terms of probation does not result in automatic charges. The judge must evaluate the circumstances and determine whether you made every effort to meet the terms. If the judge finds that you more likely than not violated the terms of probation, based on a preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt, you can face additional penalties which could include jail time. At this point, it is in your best interest to secure a strong probation violation defense attorney in West Palm Beach.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has dedicated his 25-year career to defending individuals accused of criminal offenses such as violating the terms of probation. For a free consultation, call Brain Gabriel at The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at 561-625-5575 or contact us online for more information.