Violating Federal Probation or Supervised Release
Many first time offenders who are convicted of non-violent crimes are given the opportunity to avoid jail time by completing probation or supervised release. Depending on the classification of a charge, the duration of probation or supervised release could be anywhere from one to five years. Those who fail to comply with the terms of their release, which often include monthly meetings with a probation officer, drug and alcohol screenings, mandatory classes or counseling, and more, could be sent to prison to serve the rest of their sentence, so if you have questions about the terms of your own supervised release, please contact a federal crime attorney who can ensure that you understand your own sentence and the potential consequences of violating probation.
What is Probation?
Those who are given the opportunity to avoid jail time by completing probation are assigned an officer to oversee their case and ensure that they don’t violate the terms of their supervised release, which could include:
- Submitting to regular searches of their home or vehicle;
- Giving up the ability to possess firearms or other weapons;
- Refraining from committing any other crimes;
- Refraining from contacting certain individuals, namely witnesses and victims;
- Submitting to random drug and alcohol screenings;
- Meeting up with the supervising officer once a month;
- Remaining within a certain geographical area by restricting travel;
- Abiding by a curfew;
- Completing community service;
- Submitting to electronic monitoring;
- Securing and retaining employment;
- Obtaining mental health or substance abuse treatment;
- Notifying officers of any change in address or employment; or
- Completing classes or therapy.
Types of Violations
Anyone who violates one of these rules can be said to have committed either a technical or substantive violation, depending on its seriousness. Technical violations are less serious and include accidental contact with another convicted felon or a police officer. Generally, technical violations don’t have to be filed with the court, although serious violations and substantive violations do need to be filed with the court. The penalties for violating the terms of probation in federal cases usually involve imprisonment for the rest of a person’s sentence. However, this is not always the case, as judges have discretion when deciding on the appropriate punishments, which could include the loss of driving privileges, stricter terms, or spending a few weeks in jail. Even when a term of probation has been successfully completed, courts have the option of extending it, although this is only possible if less than the maximum authorized term was previously imposed. Judges are also given discretion when it comes to terminating or revoking probation, although they are only permitted to do so in cases of misdemeanors or infractions, or if a case involves a felony charge, at least one year of probation has expired and a probationer can demonstrate that the action is warranted by his or her conduct.
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To schedule a free case evaluation with dedicated Miami federal crime attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., please call 305-670-9919 or send an online message.