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What happens if you violate your probation in Florida?

Everybody makes mistakes. It's a phrase everyone the world over probably knows. But while most mistakes are harmless and easily forgiven, such is not the case when it comes to criminal law here in the United States. That's because criminal mistakes can result in serious penalties and even fines, which is something we wanted to look at in this week's blog post.

In Brevard County, as well as other counties across Florida, after a sentence has been served and a person has been released, they may then be required to go on probation for a period of time. Even if you've never been accused of a crime yourself, you may know that there are certain conditions that go along with any probation. Violating any of these conditions can have serious consequences no matter where you live.

So what happens if you accidentally make a mistake and violate your probation here in Florida?

As Florida Statue 948.06 explains, if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has violated their probation then any law enforcement officer who is aware of the violation may arrest the probationer. This can be done with or without a warrant, though it is possible for a judge to issue a warrant if the courts believe that a probationer has violated the terms of their release.

It's important to point out that a person accused of a probation violation does have the right to an attorney at this time and is advised to exercise this right, especially considering the fact that a hearing typically follows an arrest. At these hearings, the standard of proof is generally lower than regular criminal proceedings, meaning you could find yourself facing a conviction and an even harsher sentence.

Even though we understand that you're only human and have the propensity for mistakes, the criminal justice system is less forgiving. That's why having a skilled attorney on your side is so important. They can find that balance between showing someone mercy and following the rules of the law.

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