Avvo Rating badge
NACDL badge
Expertise badge
Avvo Rating badge

Probation Violations Attorney

Probation Violations Attorney In St. Petersburg, FL

If you have been accused of violating your probation, you should consult with an experienced probation violations attorney. Will Hanlon would be a great choice.

In many Florida criminal cases, especially first offenses and non-violent crimes (i.e. theft, drug and alcohol etc.), a defendant many avoid spending time in jail by receiving a sentence of probation, which involves supervision by the State.

Probation is similar to parole, which is State supervision of a person who has served time and been released from prison; probation is in lieu of prison time, whereas parole is in addition to it. Both require periodic meetings with an assigned probation or parole officer to discuss the probationer or parolee’s situation and ensure that terms are being complied with.

However, if you fail to meet probationary standards or are accused of violating probation, there can be serious consequences. Don’t hesitate to talk to a St. Petersburg probation violation attorney if you are being accused of not meeting probation standards.

Conditions of Probation

A person on probation generally needs to remain within the jurisdiction, refrain from committing another crime or associating with known criminals, meet with the probation office on a regular basis, submit to random alcohol and drug testing, and hold a job.

Other conditions may also be imposed by the court, custom tailored to the individual’s circumstances, such as performing community service, paying restitution to victims, and working toward a high school diploma. Fees are usually assessed to help cover the cost of the probation.

This system helps relieve overcrowding of prisons and allows you to remain in the community after being convicted of a crime; but it is not a free pass. Probation is a serious matter with strict rules that you must comply with. Failure to do so could result in a Violation of Probation, which will often result in your going to jail.

Common Probation Violations

Some common violations include:

  • Failing to report for a meeting with your probation officer
  • Failing a random drug test
  • Committing a crime while on probation
Lower Standard of Proof Required for Probation Violations

If you’ve missed a meeting with your probation officer or have been found to be in violation of another of the terms of your probation, you will usually be held in jail without bond until your hearing date. You will not have the right to a jury trial for a probation violation, but will have a hearing before a judge.

The standard of proof is lower than for a typical criminal offense, and the prosecutor will only need to show that it was likely that you did commit a violation. Sometimes a judge is quick to accept the word of a probation officer without looking further into the matter, so it is important to have a legal professional to help you present your case.

A probation violation is a serious offense that comes with a grave risk of jail time. This is true even for a relatively minor violation. So it is especially important that you seek out the best legal representation available and hire a seasoned St. Petersburg probation violation attorney with experience in representing clients accused of VOP.

A Lawyer’s Experience and Respect in the Courts Work to a Client’s Benefit

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Hanlon Law has a long record of success in helping his clients avoid going to prison for probation violations. Will Hanlon has more than 20 years of experience as a Florida defense attorney and understands how the state’s criminal justice system works. He has earned the respect of prosecutors and judges, and knows how to present your case in such a way as to obtain a favorable outcome in many cases.

Will understands that things happen, which may be beyond your control, to interfere with your ability to be in perfect compliance with the conditions of your probation, and he will fight aggressively and persuasively for you to retain your freedom.

Get Experienced Legal Help Early on

Freedom is a precious thing, and well worth fighting for; don’t allow an oversight, a mistake, or a misunderstanding regarding your probation deprive you of it. If your probation officer is talking violation, give Will Hanlon a call. Having Will on your side can make the difference between your freedom and years behind bars. Call him immediately if your probation officer has indicated that you are in violation of one of the terms of your probation. Let him start working on your matter right from the start, to improve the odds that you will not have to serve time.

Probation Violation Defense

St. Petersburg is considered to have a high rate of violent crime relative to the Florida average. In 2015, for example, there were 14 murders and 136 rapes. There were 1,175 assaults. Property crime is also an issue, with about 10,000 thefts each year. When you plead to a crime and are put on probation, you will be ordered to comply with certain conditions. For example, you may be required to have meetings with a parole officer, to remain in a certain residence or place, to not associate with people engaged in criminal activities, to not carry or own a firearm, to submit to random drug testing, or to perform community service. If you do not adhere to these conditions, you can be charged with the crime of a probation violation. St. Petersburg probation violation lawyer Will Hanlon can examine the circumstances of your case to determine a strategy likely to be successful in defending you.

Technical and Substantive Probation Violations

Probation violations may be technical or substantive. The former occur if you do not comply with one or more probation conditions. For example, if you fail to complete all of your community service hours, this is a technical violation.

Similarly, if you are charged with a DUI, and you do not attend a mandatory alcohol treatment program, this would be a technical probation violation. When a probation officer claims that you committed a technical violation, they can complete an affidavit that says that you violated probation terms. The probation officer will make a recommendation. In some cases, they may recommend that a warrant be issued for your arrest and that you stay in county jail until a hearing can be held. However, different rules are followed at a hearing on a technical probation violation than in a criminal trial.

Unlike with a new criminal charge, you do not have the right to a jury trial on a technical violation. Instead of proving the violation beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution will need to prove a technical probation violation by the greater weight of evidence, which is a lower standard of proof more similar to civil cases. Still, a probation violation attorney in St. Petersburg can play a critical role in protecting your rights.

If you are guilty of a technical violation, your probation can be revoked, and you may be incarcerated. For example, if you got probation for a domestic violence misdemeanor, but you refused to do the community service that the court ordered, you could be sent to jail for the full term for which you were originally sentenced. However, if the issue is minor, we may be able to convince the court to modify your probation instead. For example, if you were ordered to attend school, keep your job, and complete community service, but it was not actually possible to perform the set number of community service hours while also going to school and going to your job, a St. Petersburg probation violation attorney could ask the court to modify the number of hours or the timeline within which this was to be completed.

On the other hand, a substantive probation violation is one for which you can be charged separately. For example, if you commit child abuse while being on probation for domestic violence, this is a substantive violation. You may be charged with child abuse, and you may also face penalties for violating the probation terms. The child abuse charge will need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply being arrested for child abuse may not be sufficient to count as a substantive probation violation.

Get Assistance from a Probation Violation Lawyer in St. Petersburg

If you are charged with a crime, you should consult us as early in the process as possible. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing criminal defense representation since 1994. We are dedicated to guarding the rights of the accused. Call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
★★★★★
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
★★★★★
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
★★★★★
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
★★★★★
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse