Receiving probation for a criminal offense can be a great relief for anyone looking at jail or prison. However, probation comes with a number of conditions with which a person must comply.

If you do not comply with the terms of your probation – or even if someone accuses you of violating them – you could face consequences that are worse than what you were initially facing.

What does a violation entail?

Some possible ways a person might violate probation include:

  • Committing a new crime
  • Failing a drug test
  • Failing to report to your probation officer
  • Being somewhere else when you should be at home or work
  • Failing to report a job change
  • Missing a restitution payment
  • Failing to attend required classes
  • Leaving the county without permission

Violations must be willful and substantial to result in serious consequences.

That said, something you might see as a minor slipup could still trigger consequences through the alternative sanctioning program. These low-risk offenses are also called technical violations and include missteps like failing to attend court-ordered classes or testing positive for prohibited substances.

Consequences for probation violations in Florida

Several things can happen when a person violates probation in Florida. For instance, you could face:

  • A warrant for your arrest
  • Revocation of probation
  • Extension of probation
  • Detention while awaiting a hearing
  • An order to complete the sentence imposed initially
  • Required participation in court programs

When someone commits a low-risk or technical violation, they can also face sanctions such as drug testing, curfews and loss of privileges.

These penalties can disrupt your life, derail your career or education, and create additional legal and financial problems for you and your family.

Thus, it is crucial to avoid committing any violations of your probation. 

Addressing violation accusations

If you are facing accusations that you violated your probation, you should know that the consequences are not inevitable. Courts have great discretion in how they pursue claims of probation violations. Further, as is the case with any criminal allegation, you have the right to defend yourself and seek dismissal or reduction of the charges.