How to keep from being “violated” while on Probation


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How to keep from being “violated” while on Probation

When you are placed on probation, you are being given a second chance.  You have the keys to the jail in your pocket and if you comply with the rules you will make it through it OK.  The problem is that if you have a drug problem, you are at high risk of failure.  This is particularly true if you are addicted to pills, heroin, opiates or have been smoking weed for years.  As a criminal lawyer I have found that many times in resolving a criminal case,  probation is a better option that jail.  That is not true in all cases.  Sometimes you might be wiser to take a short sentence in County jail with no probation.  It all depends on how strong you think you are.  Probation is tough, but you can do it if you try.

Sex Offender probation is another story.  If you have to take sex offender probation to avoid jail, it is probably a wise decision but you really have to be careful to comply with each and every term of probation.  They really are out to violate you if you are on sex offender probation.  The Lee County Sheriff has several deputies monitoring registered sex offenders, many of which are on probation, just looking for some excuse to find a technical violation.

Many times the probation officer will show up with a deputy to search your residence.  They are looking for anything that constitutes a technical violation.  If a condition of your sex offender probation limits your access to the Internet, you have a real problem.  Almost all cellphones now are smart phones and technically computers.  Did you know that if you are a registered sex offender, there are deputies in Ft. Myers whose sole job is to find some way to arrest you?  Never change your address without going to the Sheriff’s department that same day to register the change.  Never have an email address or a screen name without registering it with law enforcement.  If you are going to travel, even for a few days, be sure and register your new address or destination.  If you wear an electronic monitor, you daily movements can be documented and proved in a violation proceeding.  The State must prove that any violation is willful and substantial and not merely an accident.  That is where having a good experienced probation violation can make a difference.

If you think you are about to be violated, call 239 334 8890 for a free consultation or visit

Do you give up your rights on probation?

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Do you give up your rights on probation?

The answer to that question is in many cases yes.  Let me tell it to you straight.  Probation is better than prison and in many cases a choice to accept probation over jail is a wise one.

You do however give up some of your basic constitutional rights.  If you are on probation, particularly sex offender probation, a probation officer can come and search your home without a warrant.  They often do this and bring a uniform officer with them.  It often depends on the type of case or offense for which you were placed on probation.  If you are on drug offender probation, you can count on a visit and count on them looking through your residence for evidence of drug use such as “roaches”, “bongs”, spoons and needles and other drug paraphernalia.  If you are on sex offender probation I guarantee they will come on a regular basis.  They will look for magazines, videos, thumb drives and other evidence that you violated the terms of the sex offender probation which often includes no access to a computer.

It is really important to address some of these issues before they arise.  For example, if there is a condition of your probation restricting you from accessing a computer, you have a problem.  Smart phones are computers and it is almost impossible to get a phone now that is not a smart phone.  It is almost impossible to function in day to day life without using some form of a computer.  To apply for a job, you have to go online.  Most employers will not even talk to a walk in or someone with a written resume.  Getting a job is impossible without computer access.  If you are lucky enough to get a job, most jobs require computer use for billing, communication and all simple day to day business functions.  As a sex crime lawyer I always try and address these issues when the case is before the Court.  For example, if I represent someone who is a student, I need to negotiate an exception in advance.  Think about it.  How can you do your banking without access to a computer?  How can you book an airline reservation?  How can you apply for a job? How can you even look up your own case online? How can you even communicate with the people in your life without email or texts?

The one right you never give up is your right to an attorney

Our firm regularly handles probation violations in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee Counties. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Come to us if you have a problem before it becomes a violation.  Let us negotiate an exception and get the terms of your probation changed so you don’t find yourself in violation.  As probation violation lawyers let us solve the problem before it happens.  Call today for a free appointment or consultation

FT Myers  239 334 8890     Punta Gorda  941 639 6009    Sarasota 941 366 3506