Judges in Florida have a degree of discretion when it comes to sentencing in a criminal court. Sentences can range from prison time, community service, fines and probation. Probation is a period of supervision by a probation officer, ordered by a court for crimes such as drug possession instead of prison time. Violation of probation could have severe consequences.
Anyone who is on probation has to comply with the terms of the court order. Circumstances that might constitute probation violation include the failure to appear in court on a scheduled time and date. Also, missing any scheduled meetings with the probation officer can mean trouble. Violation of probation can also include the failure to pay court-ordered restitution or fines as well as visiting places or people prohibited by the court. The permission of the probation officer might be required for out-of-state travels.
Depending on state laws, being arrested for any offenses during the probation period can lead to probation violation charges. This might lead to a written warning or an order to attend a probation violation hearing. The sentencing judge will determine the severity of the violation, and if the person is found guilty, the court might extend the probation, add further probation terms or order jail time.
Anyone in Florida who faces charges of probation violation for drug possession or other offenses will likely have questions about his or her legal rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide answers on how to avoid further penalties and severe consequences. Having legal counsel to provide advocacy throughout might help the accused avoid jail time or other severe punishment.