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Violating the Terms of Federal Probation

In an effort to reduce the number of inmates being held in correctional facilities across the country, prosecutors often give individuals who are convicted of low level crimes the opportunity to serve a term of probation rather than face additional imprisonment. Unfortunately, probation requirements are complex and many probationers have difficulty complying with all of the terms, which usually include monthly interviews with a probation officer, drug screenings, and full-time employment. If you were recently placed on probation and have questions about the terms of your own sentence, it is important to speak with an experienced federal crimes attorney who can address your concerns.

Mandatory Conditions

A person’s probation terms depend largely on the severity of the crime that he or she committed. For instance, someone convicted of a domestic violence offense will be required to attend a court-approved offender rehabilitation program as part of his or her sentence. Someone convicted of a sex offense, on the other hand, will be required to register as a sex offender and comply with a series of other rules regarding occupation and housing. However, those who are convicted of any crime, whether a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction are always required to:

  • Refrain from committing further crimes while on probation;
  • Refrain from unlawfully possessing a controlled substance;
  • Refrain from using a controlled substance; and
  • Submit to regular drug tests.

All probationers are also required to:

  • Make restitution to any victims;
  • Pay a civil fine;
  • Notify the court of any material change in their economic circumstances; and
  • Submit a DNA sample to the court.

Discretionary Conditions

Courts are also given the discretion to set additional probation terms, which could require probationers to:

  • Support their dependents;
  • Retain suitable employment or pursue vocational training;
  • Refrain from working in an occupation that is directly related to probationer’s conviction;
  • Stay away from certain places associated with crime;
  • Refrain from the excessive use of alcohol;
  • Refrain from possessing a firearm;
  • Undergo medical or psychiatric treatment;
  • Participate in a community corrections facility program;
  • Permit probation officers to conduct home visits;
  • Perform community service; and
  • Report to a probation officer on a regular basis;

Common Violations

In recent years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has placed a renewed emphasis on pursuing those who have violated the terms of their federal probation sentence, which can have serious consequences for the probationer, including jail time. Some of the most common probation violations include:

  • Failing to report a change of address;
  • Failing to seek the approval of a probation officer prior to relocating;
  • Failing to pass a drug test;
  • Failing to seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction;
  • Failing to report regularly to a probation officer;
  • Being arrested for another crime; and
  • Failing to pay restitution.

These types of violations can lead to additional charges being filed against a probationer as well as a longer sentence and jail time.

Contact us Today to Speak With a Dedicated Federal Crimes Attorney

Please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys at (305) 670-9919 today to schedule an initial case evaluation with an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney who can explain your legal options. We are eager to help you with your case.


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