violation of probation attorneys

If you are charged with violating your probation, it is critical that you speak with an experienced attorney to protect your rights.  In Florida, a violation of probation occurs when a defendant substantially and willfully violates the conditions of his or her probation.  Violations can be technical or new law violations, A "technical" is a violation of the probation conditions such as failing a urine test, failing to check in with the probation officer, violating curfew, or not keeping the contact information current with the probation officer.  A new law violation is when a new crime is alleged.  A defendant is not entitled to the same rights and proceedings as in other criminal prosecutions.  There is a much lower standard of proof and a defendant can be compelled to testify. 

Whether the violation of probation is willful and substantial is determined by competent evidence, the violation must be material, and the trial court uses the standard of “greater weight of the evidence.”  It is important to note that defendants do not have the same constitutional protections in a violation of probation hearing as defendants have when originally charged and through the original trial process and procedure.  

Once an Affidavit of Violation has been submitted by  the defendant's probation officer, a court will issue a capias or warrant for the defendant’s arrest.  In most cases, the defendant is but on a no bond status and will be required to remain in jail until the arraignment or evidentiary hearing.  

If a court revokes probation, the court may impose any sentence that it may have originally imposed at sentencing.  Defendants do get credit for all time served. For example, if you were originally arrested and plead guilty to a third degree felony of possession of cannabis and were serving a 2 years probation, and probation is revoked, and you have only completed 6 months of your probation, the court could still sentence you to four and a half years prison.  It is important to note that Florida statute allows for the probationary period allows for “tolling” meaning that once a violation of probation is alleged, the defendant’s term of probation is frozen.  

If you or a loved one has been accused of violating probation, it is critical that you contact an experienced attorney immediately to pursue all of your options.  If the basis for your violation is only monetary--meaning you have not been able to pay the costs of supervision or restitution or some other fees as part of your probation--Attorney Heather Bryan may be able to file a motion for release while you await an evidentiary hearing, or allow you extra time to fulfill your financial obligations.  If your violation is more serious, you need the experience of an attorney like Heather Bryan to stand beside you at an evidentiary hearing to help show your violation was not willful or substantial.  Attorney Heather Bryan can help you plan your defense and protect your rights.  For your free and confidential consultation, contact us online today or call Attorney Heather Bryan at 863-825-5309.