Understanding Technical and Substantive Probation Violations
Probation is commonly seen as a beneficial, lenient alternative to incarceration. Because individuals on probation are given the chance to stay in their communities, they are held to a high standard. For this reason, probation violations are often met with severe penalties to dissuade people from breaking the rules.
There are numerous ways to violate probation; you may even do it without knowing.
Technical Violation of Probation
A technical violation of probation (VOP) occurs when the individual fails to follow the rules of their probation.
There are three common ways that this occurs.
Failure to appear in court
If you had a set court date that you did not show up for, you could be found in violation of your probation. In this case, the judge may put a warrant out for your arrest.
It is important to be informed of when your court dates are so you don’t accidentally miss one and find yourself in serious trouble.
Failure to comply
This occurs when you don’t follow the conditions of your probation.
Common conditions of probation include:
- Community service
- Not using drugs or alcohol
- Meeting with your probation officer
- Avoiding certain locations or people
- Failure to pay a fine
You may have to pay a monthly supervision fee or a fee for drug testing. If you fail to do so, you can be charged with violating your probation.
Substantive Violation of Probation
A substantive violation is more severe than a technical violation. If you are charged with a substantive VOP, it means that you have committed another crime while out on probation.
If you are convicted of the new offense while on probation, your probation will most likely be revoked. Even if you are not convicted, there is still a chance that the original terms of your probation become more strict.
Penalties for VOP
The consequences of violating your probation vary.
Common penalties include:
- A warning
- Additional time on probation
- Additional community services
For more severe cases, like substantive violations:
- Probation revocation
- Jail time
The judge also has the option to sentence you for the first offense you committed. For example, if you were arrested for a misdemeanor offense and given probation, then violated probation, your penalty could be the same penalty you would have received for the misdemeanor.
Miami Criminal Defense
If you are being charged with violating your probation, it is crucial you contact legal representation. Hager & Schwartz, P.A. can help prove that you did not intend to break the conditions of your probation. A misunderstanding should not send you to jail. Give us a call today at (305) 330-1360 to discuss your case with our Miami probation violation lawyers.