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A Probation Officer’s Authority Over a Person Serving Probation

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

February 25, 2020

It is common for someone who has been convicted of a crime to be required to serve probation. This will depend on the seriousness of the crime as well as the jurisdiction where a person was convicted of the crime. The job of a probation officer is to make certain a person serving probation is meeting all the requirements of their probation. A probation officer will be watching the person on probation and looking after them during the time they are on it.

Probation Violation

An important aspect of a probation officer’s job is to inform a prosecutor when someone violates their probation. This could result in an individual having their probation taken away and being placed in jail. Should someone intentionally ignore the terms and conditions of their probation, a probation officer will report it. A probation officer has significant power over a person who is serving probation time.

Probation Officer Authority

Many people wonder what a probation officer can make them do during their time on probation. The authority of a probation officer is listed in the contract a convicted person signs or a judge’s order. These documents will list the terms and conditions of a person’s probation.

A court will often give significant latitude to probation officers in how they treat people serving probation. There are certain probation contracts that state a person serving probation must comply with all sanctions, recommendations as well as additional requirements that are requested by their probation officer.

Probation Is Not A Right

It is common for a defendant to have the mistaken belief that when they’re on probation, they are in charge of themselves. This is not true. Another common mistake is the belief that being given probation is a right, or they are entitled to receive it.

These beliefs will often get a defendant into serious trouble. Anyone who does not listen to what their probation officer tells them or doesn’t try to get along with their probation officer could experience life-changing negative consequences. Most people on probation can be sentenced to jail if they break the terms of it.

Probation Instead Of Jail

Many people are permitted to serve time on probation instead of serving jail time. In this situation, a judge can order a person serving probation to perform many different types of tasks. Should someone not do what they are instructed by the judge, they can and will be sentenced to jail.

For more information on handling your criminal charges, contact our team today (305) 330-1360. At Hager & Schwartz, our team of experienced Florida criminal defense attorneys can help put together a plan to protect your rights and your future.