In theory, probation should be a step towards rehabilitation. It should be used as a second chance in criminal cases, a chance for people to avoid jail and get their life back on track. This is particularly true when people have a drug problem and their arrest was for possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine or possession of meth. Many people develop an addiction and then because of that addiction end up being arrested for some other crime, a crime that only fueled the addiction.
If you are on probation and are still using, you put yourself at great risk.
If you were lucky enough to get pre-trial diversion in your case, and still continue to smoke weed or use drugs, chances are you are going to end up getting violated. As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that many times probation is just a trap. Prosecutors, often, if they have a weak case, will offer probation just to “move the case”. They will particularly do this if they think you have a high chance of reoffending. Unfortunately, some probation officers are just looking for some reason to violate you and will jump on any opportunity to put you in jail. The fact is that probation officers are underpaid and overworked and try and find any way to reduce their caseload.
Our Ft. Myers criminal law office has defended numerous probation violation hearings. The State has to prove that the violation is both substantial and willful. If we get involved before you are rearrested we can often get the situation worked out before a warrant is issued. If you or a loved one have been arrested on a violation, it is critical that you get a good lawyer before your hearing. There are alternative to going to County Jail or State prison. We may be able to get you reinstated or get you placed on drug offender probation or house arrest instead of jail.
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