It is estimated that over 200,000 people are currently incarcerated for probation violations. In fact, jailing individuals for probation violations is believed to be a significant part of America’s mass incarceration and prison overcrowding problem. While you may think there’s no way you’d risk being sent to prison while out on probation, it clearly does happen. Follow these tips to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you could wind up behind bars or facing new criminal consequences.
1. Always Follow Orders
Each probationer has different conditions they must follow. Failure to follow these conditions can result in re-arrest or additional consequences. You may be tempted to violate the conditions if you believe you won’t get caught. For example, staying out past curfew if you think you can get away with it. However, this is something you do not want to risk. Always follow the conditions of your probation. If you believe you have a valid reason to modify your probation conditions, an attorney can help you file a motion to change the terms.
2. Keep a Calendar
Missing a meeting with your probation officer or a court date are two reasons why you could be charged with a probation violation. Take active steps to ensure this doesn’t happen by keeping a calendar on your wall in a room where you spend a lot of time. On the calendar, mark all of the important meeting dates and check daily to make sure you know what obligations are coming up.
3. Avoid Certain People and Places
For some people, it’s actually a condition of their probation to stay away from certain people and places that are known to bring trouble. However, even if it isn’t a formal condition for your probation, it’s a good idea to follow this anyway. If there are people you know who can tempt you into committing crimes, using drugs, or anything else that can get you in trouble, it’s best to stay away.
4. Respect Your Probation Officer
Always treat your probation officer with respect and kindness. If you do slip up in the future, they may be more likely to give you a second chance or help you if you have a good relationship.
Florida Probation Violation Lawyers
We hope that you can use these tips to help you successfully complete your probation and have a fresh start. However, if you do run into trouble and are in need of legal assistance after a probation violation, our team at First Coast Criminal Defense is here for you.