Probation may seem like a form of freedom, but the terms and restrictions the judge sets must be taken very seriously. Failure to abide by any one of the rules outlined in your sentencing can have dire consequences, including revocation of your probation—resulting in imprisonment.

What are the two types of violations?

  • Technical violations are the more minor form of infraction. This might include the failure to pay an administrative court cost or fine, failure to complete a court-ordered rehabilitation program, failure to pass a drug test or even missing a scheduled appointment with your probation officer.
  • Substantive violations occur when you commit a new crime while under probation for another offense. The punishments for substantive violations are naturally more severe. If the state of Florida tries to revoke your probation on these grounds, the evidence of illegal action must be firsthand—not hearsay.

How are penalties for probation violations determined?

In technical violation scenarios, probation officers have a certain degree of discretion in whether they want to issue a warning or require you to appear at a probation violation hearing. Factors that will either work for or against you may include the severity of the condition violated, if past warnings have been issued and relevant personal circumstances.

If you do go to court for either a technical or substantive violation, penalties could include an extended probation period or jail time. However, a probation violation sentencing is not a one-sided proceeding. You have the right to legal representation and to present evidence and witnesses to support your case.