A lot depends on your particular probation officer, but you can only do what you can do. If possible to leave a message, do that. If not, call them first thing Monday morning and explain what happened. There more likely to appreciate honesty, than if you try to avoid it.
A local Tampa area attorney familiar with the judges and prosecutors can probably work this violation out for you. You are correct that the first step is to contact your po, but I would also get a bondsman and an attorney lined up in case your probation is violated. Elliot Wilcox is an attorney who works in Tampa who focuses exclusively on DUI defense. You may want to look him up on avvo and call him. Good Luck.
Although AVVO answers provide a starting point, nothing replaces the opinion of a qualified DUI defense attorney knowledgable about the Judges and prosecutors near you. You should consult a local lawyer for legal advice. Www.orlandocriminalteam.com Www.orlandoduiteam.com Www.orlandoduilawfirm.com Www.flduilawfirm.com Www.orlandodivorceteam.com
Probation Officer's are people too. They should understand if you genuinely attempted to be compliant. Stay calm and explain the situation. Express to him that you will not miss any future appointments. Good luck.
If there is one date, one appointment a person should NEVER miss, it's an appointment with his/her probation officer. The term "accidentally" isn't going to be of much help if you get violated. Fortunately for you, as long as your dui was a misdemeanor, it's not that bad. Violating misdemeanor probation is not near as bad as violating the felony variety, and misdemeanor judges are usually just interested in getting the thing over with as opposed to punishing you. You still should be represented by a lawyer, however.
As Florida counsel have pointed out, you are doing what you can. It is not good to miss an appointment, but it happens. Repeated misses can result in probation revocation.
Probation means you have already been convicted of a crime. A judge decided that you did not need to be imprisoned to protect society, but you are subject to being searched or locked up at any time if someone thinks that decision might have been wrong. You have one foot in the jail cell already!
When talking to clients considering probation, I often compare it to being like moving back home with a step-parent who doesn’t like you. That step-parent gets to set your hours, tell you who your friends are, tell you where you can and cannot live, and talk to your boss at work. If he/she thinks you are breaking a rule, you can be put into jail until a decision is made. It is a significant change in your liberty.
Make sure your probation officer knows you understand this and you will keep ahead of the game and be on the road to getting out from under court supervision.
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