Quite simply, the alternative sanctions program allows people to avoid court if they violate felony probation for a minor rule.
In the past, a violation of felony probation meant a sure trip to jail. Not anymore. In both Pinellas and Pasco Counties, you may be eligible for the Alternative Sanctions Program for Violations of Felony Probation. It only works for a minor, or “technical” violation. (Make sure you scroll down to the last page of that link – it shows a plea form.)
What’s a minor felony violation?
- Failing a drug test, or missing a drug test that was required.
- Not reporting or missing an appointment with your P.O.
- Curfew violations
- Failing to get your P.O.’s consent to move or change jobs
- Failing to pay fines, restitution, or other costs.
- Failing to complete community service hours
Any of these “minor violations” may make you eligible for the Alternative Sanctions Program.
What’s the catch?
- If you agree to the Alternative Sanctions Program, you are admitting to the violation. If you VOP again, any previous VOP will show up on your score sheet.
- By agreeing to the Alternative Sanctions Program, you give up your right to an attorney, any and all defenses you may have, and any right to appeal.
Drug tests are often inaccurate – if you’re sure you should have Passed your drug test, and you didn’t, that’s a defense, which you’d be giving up by entering into the Alternative Sanctions program.
3. You get more sanctions, which you’ll have a set amount of time to complete – if you don’t complete them on time, you will get a formal violation, which means you’ll get arrested.
4. If you sign the Alternative Sanctions plea form – it means you’re admitting to the violation – that means, pleading guilty. If you don’t complete the Alternative Sanctions – and a formal Violation of Felony Probation is filed by your P.O. – you’ve already admitted – you have already plead guilty. See #1 above.
4. The judge has to agree to the Alternative Sanctions.
If you choose the Alternative Sanctions, you do not need a lawyer. But if you have any doubts as to your guilt – do not agree to the Alternative Sanctions Program. And definitely don’t agree if you don’t think you can complete the sanctions. Call us if you have any questions.