What Warrants Supervised Or Unsupervised Probation For Drug Charges?
Probation is an agreement between the state and the individual who has been charged with the crime, the accused whereby they score under 44 points on the sentencing score sheet so that they are not scoring state prison time and they then are placed on probation.
Probation is usually reserved for individuals who have no criminal record or who have a criminal record but the criminal record is for misdemeanor crimes or a felony that is outside of 10 years. Those individuals do qualify under the statute for probation if they are not facing any state prison or what they call Department of Corrections (DOC) time.
The best way to have that analyzed is to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney and immediately go over the criminal defendant’s case. Determine if they qualify for probation and then contact the assistant state attorney who is prosecuting the case and explain that this individual who has been charged with the crime is willing to enter into a probationary plea whereby adjudication is withheld so they will not be a convicted felon and when the probation period ends, they will not lose any of their civil rights.
They will also undergo a period of time, usually 24 months or less, whereby they will follow certain conditions. Those conditions vary from case to case but they can be things like doing classes, a theft abatement course, an anger management course, a battery intervention course, a drug program, a Mothers against Drunk Driving course or a DUI course.
There are certain prescribed courses, classes that are allocated to probationary pleas so that the defendant can gain knowledge about how a criminal activity affects their life and impacts society. They will also be monitored for the period of time on probation. The fee is usually $50 a month and that is to make sure that the probation officer has the ability to watch over the probationer so that he or she has not committed any new crime violations and is providing the probation officer with the elements of the probation including the classes, community service, or random drug testing, and is not going out of a prescribed area without court permission.
If it’s for employment purposes, many times the judge will allow travel outside the area and the probation officer keeps tabs on the probationer so that he or she is doing what is expected of them. This way the person can complete their probation and then maintain the withhold of adjudication and on a vast majority of those crimes, if they haven’t been adjudicated guilty in the past, they can get their record expunged or sealed so that it’s destroyed and therefore the public is not able to obtain that information.
This is beneficial in employment, continuing education, whether that’s trade school, college, university, nursing, and also obtaining housing, because many times if there is a criminal record, landlords or condominium associations or home owners’ associations will not want to accept those individuals into their communities. The seal and expunge after the probation period has been successfully completed with a withhold will provide those individuals with a clean record.
What are the Costs Associated with Probation?
The costs associated with probation are usually not significant. The cost of supervision is usually $50 a month, the classes that are required are many times inexpensive, they range anywhere from $250 to about $560. If it is a drug treatment program, many times health insurance will cover that if the individual has health insurance. If they don’t have health insurance, then you need to bring that to the attention of your criminal defense lawyer so that I can apprise the court of that.
If it’s court ordered, many times the individual will not be responsible for paying that fee or it could be a fee by a sliding scale based on the probationer’s income. If the individual has a lower income, the fee for classes and/or drug and alcohol rehabilitation impatient is reduced. There are many ways to reduce the cost. If one wants to do community service hours in lieu of fines and court costs and the cost of probation, the judge can order that so that you can get basically $10 for every hour of community service to reduce any court costs, fines and costs of the probationary fees.
What are the Typical Consequences of Violating Probation?
Usually, a violation of probation will cause the probationer to be arrested for a warrant that is signed by the sentencing judge. The probationer will then usually be booked into the county jail. They will have a court appearance, usually within 1 to 3 business days, after which the violation of probation will be given to the criminal defense attorney and it will have the allegations.
What did the probationer fail to do or what did the probationer do to be violated? Did they not do the classes? Did they not do the community service hours? Are they behind on their fees? Did they get a new law violation? At that point, the judge will make a determination as to bond; should he allow the individual to be bonded from jail pending the final outcome of the violation of probation?
Many times if it’s a technical violation, like not being current on fees or not completing a class, the judge will give opportunity to get those technical violations cleared and to get them satisfied. If it’s a new law violation meaning the probationer’s committed a new crime, it’s much more significant because while having the opportunity to be on probation, which is a grace of the court.
Many times, it can be resolved at the first hearing and it can be pled out if the allegations are in the affidavit and they are substantial violations and there is a factual basis, it’s more probable than not that the individual has in fact committed the new crime violation or has violated probation through a technical violation. In these situations probation could be extended and additional services could be provided that the probationer must fulfill. There are other ways around pure incarceration after a violation of probation and that needs to be analyzed by a competent criminal defense attorney.
For more information on Probation For Drug Offenders In Florida, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 561.880.4300 today.