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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, 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 violator 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 violator to bond out of jail pending a 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 one of our two locations at 407 743 8430 or 407-250-9557, for a prompt and free consultation with an experienced Central Florida criminal defense attorney at The Defense Group. We are available 24 hours a day for your emergency needs, and appointments can be arranged for nights or weekends if necessary.