Violation of Probation Attorneys Palm Beach and Broward County
In Florida, a Violation of Probation results from either a Technical Violation or a Substantive (New Law Violation.) Technical violations include, but are not limited to: failing a drug test, failing to report to probation, failing to pay costs of supervision, failing to pay restitution, and failing to turn in monthly reports. New Law Violations occur when a person is arrested for a new crime while on probation. A person who violates probation is in jeopardy of being sentenced to the maximum sentence for the underlying offense. Additionally, even if the person is acquitted at trial for a new law violation, the prosecutor can still try to violate the person’s probation, because the standard of proof is lower.
- Community Control: Community Control is also known as house arrest. Community Control is reserved for felons. A person charged with a misdemeanor cannot be placed on community control. A person who is placed on community control cannot leave their house without the permission of their community control officer. The community control officer makes frequent house visits.
- Intensive Supervision Probation: Intensive Supervision Probation is a more restrictive form of probation than regular probation. Only a person who is convicted of a misdemeanor can be placed on Intensive Supervision Probation. The probation officers who supervise these offenders have a lower case load. A person placed on intensive supervision probation may be asked to submit to random drug testing.
- Drug Offender Probation: Drug Offender Probation is reserved for felons. A person placed on this type of probation will have a curfew from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. Additionally, they will be required to submit to random drug testing
- County probation: County probation is reserved for people who are convicted of misdemeanor offenses. The person must report to probation and turn in monthly blue sheets. The person is required to pay costs of supervision and fulfill any other court ordered obligations.
Maximum Penalties for Violating Probation
A person arrested for a violation of probation may be sentenced up to the following maximum sentences depending on the classification of the underlying charge:
- 2nd degree misdemeanor: 60 days in jail
- 1st degree misdemeanor: 1 year in jail
- 3rd degree felony: 5 years in prison
- 2nd degree felony: 15 years in prison
- 1st degree felony: 30 years in prison
Differences between a VOP and a New Charge
Violation of Probation:
- Prosecutor must prove violation only by a preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt.
- No right to a bond for a VOP.
- Hearsay is admissible.
- You can be forced to testify against yourself regarding technical violations.
- No jury.
Penalties for Violation of Probation
A violation of probation can result in the following penalties:
- Reinstatement to probation
- Revoke and Terminate probation with a likely jail or prison sentence.
- Modify probation to include additional conditions.
However, a warrant for your arrest for a violation of probation is not the same thing as a judge finding that you substantially and willfully violated probation. Any person who is accused of violating probation has the right to an evidentiary hearing. At an evidentiary hearing, the prosecutor must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you substantially and willfully violated probation. The judge, not a jury, after hearing all of the evidence determines whether the state proved their case.
If you have been accused of Violating your Probation or Violating Community Control in Palm Beach County, Martin County, Dade County or Broward County, call the Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers from Bottari & Doyle at (561)-588-2781 for a free consultation.