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What it means to be on probation

| Nov 10, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

If you are convicted of a crime, you might be sentenced to several months or years of probation. Although you are not held in custody during the probation period, you will be required to abide by a series of conditions imposed by a Florida judge. In most cases, additional penalties will be imposed if you fail to do so.

When is probation considered an appropriate punishment?

Typically, probation is granted to those who have committed a minor offense or who don’t have a criminal history. The amount of time that you spend on probation will depend on the facts in your case as well as any limits imposed by law. Any restrictions that you may be subject to while serving your sentence must be deemed to be reasonable. Furthermore, any special conditions that are imposed by a judge must somehow relate to the crime that you were convicted of.

How to respond to a notice of proposed revocation

There are many steps that must be taken before probation can be revoked. First, the prosecution must present you with a written explanation outlining how you violated an existing court order. A hearing will be held to determine if any violation actually occurred.

At the hearing, you’ll be given an opportunity to testify on your behalf and to question any witnesses the prosecution calls to testify against you. In most cases, you can ask that the evidence be evaluated by a neutral group of your peers. Even if there is evidence that a probation order was violated, it must be proven that the condition was reasonable. If the condition wasn’t reasonable, you cannot be punished for violating it.

A criminal law attorney might be able to help you obtain a positive outcome in your case even if that means being sentenced to probation. An attorney may be able to represent your interests during a probation violation hearing and may call witnesses to testify on your behalf.