In a nutshell, criminal probation is a type of community supervision that a judge or court imposes as an alternative to jail time and other penalties. Probation is available for misdemeanor charges and convictions, as well as many felonies. During the probationary period, a criminal defendant is expected to abide by certain terms and conditions. If the defendant violates any of those terms or conditions, the court may suspend or revoke the defendants probation. In the event a defendants probation is revoked, the original sentence for the underlying crime could be imposed.

If you have been convicted of a serious crime, probation may be a welcome alternative to lengthy jail time and other penalties. The St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can determine if probation is a likely option in your criminal case. Similarly, if you have been charged with violating your probation, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you minimize the legal consequences.

Terms and Conditions of Probation

Every probationary term has terms and conditions attached. Some of the most common probationary conditions include the following:

  • Not sustaining any new arrests or criminal charges during the term of the probation
  • Submitting to drug testing at prescribed intervals
  • Refraining from possessing firearms and other deadly weapons during the probationary term
  • Completing a prescribed number of community service hours
  • Meeting with a probation officer a certain number of times per month
  • Travel restrictions that apply for the term of the probation

In order to remain in full compliance with the terms of probation, the defendant must not violate his or her probation in any way.

Probation Violations

In order to seek suspension or revocation of probation, a probation officer must have reasonable grounds for determining that the offender violated a material term of probation. The probation officer will then likely prepare an affidavit to be presented to a judge. In order to revoke probation and sentence the offender for the underlying crime, the judge must first find that the probation violation was both material and willful.

The determination is oftentimes left solely to the judges discretion. Under most circumstances, incurring a new criminal charge or conviction during a probationary period will be deemed a material violation of ones probation.

During a probation violation hearing, the State is not required to prove that the offender is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, a much lower legal standard applies. In addition, the Rules of Evidence are much more relaxed at a violation of probation hearing than at a criminal trial.

Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida, Criminal Defense Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case

Probation can serve as an opportunity for a criminal defendant to rehabilitate himself or herself without going to jail and incurring other serious penalties. However, a probation violation can have serious legal consequences. The criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can help you obtain probation or help you fight the consequences of a probation violation.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida, criminal defense lawyer, please call us at (727) 269-5300, or contact us online.