Violation Of Probation Under Florida Law
What is a violation of probation?
Violations of probation are “different.” VOP cases can be particularly difficult and confusing to family members due to their unique nature. Although good representation is essential to safeguard a probation violator’s rights and freedoms, we hope the following material can help you understand the process as you seek legal counsel.
A violation of probation occurs when a person that has been previously placed on probation by either a federal, state, or county court has violated the terms of probation. Violations are generally lumped into two categories: new law offenses and technical violations. A new law offense violation occurs when a person on probation is arrested or charged with a new criminal offense. A technical violation occurs when a person violates another requirement of probation. Examples of technical violations include the following: failure to complete community service, failing a urine test, failing to pay court costs, etc.
A VOP case begins either when a person is arrested for a new crime by a police officer, or when a probation officer goes to the sentencing judge and presents a warrant for the probationer’s arrest.
How is a violation of probation different from other charges?
VOP cases are unique in that they are not new criminal offenses, but rather a continuation of the original criminal case. At sentencing on a violation of probation the court can sentence the probationer to any sentence that was legal at the time of the original sentencing. Time spent on probation does not get credited against an incarceration sentence at VOP sentencing. In addition, a probation is not entitled to a jury trial for a VOP and the standard of proof is much lower for the state in proving a VOP. VOP’s are also unique and difficult for probationers because the violater is not entitled to a bond on a VOP case. The decision to grant a bond is completely discretionary and the court is not required to allow a probation violater to bond out of jail pending hearing.
What can I do if I have violated my probation?
If you or someone you care about is in trouble for violating probation, call us at one of our offices or at 1-800-INNOCENT for a prompt and Free Consultation. One of our Orlando criminal defense attorneys will help you.