It's important to know what happens if you fail a drug test on probation in Florida. If you are on probation, you likely have a suspended sentence, meaning you face jail time if you violate specific terms. Whether or not you are on probation for a drug-related crime does not matter. Once you fail a drug test, your probation officer may start the process of filing paperwork for a violation of probation (VOP). You can be brought back to court, and a judge may order you to serve your original sentence.
Florida probation drug testing rules are strict, and it's not likely that you will get a second chance to provide a drug-free urine sample. For this reason, if you fail a drug test while on probation, you must hire a dedicated VOP lawyer near you today!
At the Weinstein Legal Team, our criminal defense team will aggressively fight your case in court, doing everything to maintain your freedom and keep you out of jail.
What Is a Violation of Probation (VOP)?
When a judge sentences you to probation following the conviction of a crime, or after you have served some jail or prison time, you are supervised by a probation officer and must follow specific rules. Probation sets out guidelines you must adhere to for a set amount of time to keep your freedom.
In the state of Florida, the terms of probation can include, among others:
- Remaining drug-free and submitting to random drug tests
- Reporting to your supervising probation officer regularly
- Having your probation officer visit your residence or job
- Maintaining employment or actively searching for employment
- Staying within state or county limits unless your probation officer approved otherwise
- Not being arrested for any other crimes
- Paying legal fines and reparations
- Not possessing any firearms or weapons
When you break any of these stipulations, the courts consider it to be a violation of probation, commonly called a VOP. Your probation officer will likely bring you back to court to appear in front of a judge and prosecutor who will have very strong opinions on what happens next.
If you fail a drug test, your probation may be reinstated and you may have to participate in a substance abuse treatment program. If you committed a new crime, your probation may be revoked and you may have to serve the original jail sentence that probation was helping you avoid.
What Drugs Do They Test for When You Are On Probation?
Florida probation drug testing screens for a variety of substances. Not only do they test for all illicit substances, such as marijuana and cocaine, but they also check for substances that are legal with a doctor's prescription, such as benzodiazepines or amphetamines. Additionally, specific probation terms may require that you avoid drinking alcohol, and you may have to submit to a blood alcohol content test at your probation meetings.
Most court systems use what is known as a "10-panel drug test." A 10-panel test screens for amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, PCP, Quaaludes, methadone, and propoxyphene. Some of these drugs come in both legal and illicit forms. For example, a doctor may prescribe opioid pain medication, or, an individual may purchase illegal opioids, such as heroin, on the street.
The bottom line is that if you test positive for any of these drugs, you need to know what happens if you fail a drug test on probation. If you can provide medical records and a doctor's testimony that states you must take medication, you must submit this documentation to your probation officer. Florida probation drug testing does not permit a VoP for doctor-prescribed medicines.
When Do You Get Drug Tested On Probation?
While you are on probation in the state of Florida, your probation officer may drug test you at any time. The courts may drug test you upon probation orientation to see if you are currently using. Additionally, your probation officer may test you at any scheduled meeting at their discretion. Just because your probation officer does not test you at one session does not mean they will not test you at the next. It's essential to remain drug-free the entire time you are on probation.
Your probation officer may also arrive at your house or job and ask you to take a random drug test. According to Florida probation drug testing laws, you must abide by the request. If you refuse drug testing at any time, your probation officer may file for a VOP.
What Happens If You Fail a Drug Test On Probation?
If you fail a drug test while you are on probation, your probation officer will notify you. They will also send the results to the judge overseeing your case, as they are required to do by law. From there, the decision on how to move forward is up to the judge and/or prosecutor. You will have to appear in court regarding the VOP.
The only person on your side during that time is your criminal defense attorney. Contact a probation violation attorney immediately to represent you as your freedom is on the line. With an aggressive attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid jail time. Several things may happen in court. The judge may order that you serve your suspended sentence, order you to complete a substance abuse treatment program, extend the term of your probation, order you to complete community service, and more.
Your probation officer may testify in court, documenting all of your interactions. These include whether or not you have been compliant with other orders and restrictions. Additionally, they will likely discuss your demeanor and attitude regarding your probation terms and the Florida probation drug testing policies.
As the courts will have a representative (your probation officer) presenting their arguments, you need a lawyer to present a defense. Do not take this chance in court alone.
When to Contact an Attorney
It's hard to know what happens if you fail a drug test on probation, as each situation is unique. Hire a Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as you know you violate Florida probation drug testing policies. Even if you do have a doctor's prescription, you should contact an attorney for a case evaluation.
Since the court systems are unpredictable and the penalty for what happens if you fail a drug test on probation is not set in stone, you have the best chance of having a positive outcome when you hire an experienced probation violation attorney.
At the Weinstein Legal Team, we serve all of South & Central Florida and the Treasure Coast, and receive a free case evaluation. You can reach us any time of day, and you will have access to your attorney whenever you need it. We will stand by you each step of the way, helping you navigate the court system and providing you with the best defense on your day in front of the judge. Do not leave your fate in the hands of the courts alone when you are facing the possible loss of your freedom.