We Defend Against Allegations of Probation Violations

When convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime, probation is an alternative to incarceration. The goal of community supervision of a convicted offender is to provide rehabilitation while ensuring safety for the public. The court may grant probation in place of prison time or in addition to prison time.

When a defendant commits a violation, a probation officer completes an Affidavit of Probation Violation. After reviewing the circumstances, a judge may issue an arrest warrant. There must be evidence that a defendant willfully and substantially was non-compliant with their probationary sentence to be convicted of a probation violation at a court hearing.

When convicted of a criminal offense, probation instead of prison is a privilege in Florida. Violations of probation in Florida (also known as VOP) are serious matters, as addressed in Florida Statute 948.06. In a court hearing, an offender may have their probation reinstated if their innocence is proven. However, if convicted of the violation, a defendant’s probationary sentence is likely modified with enhancements. In the worst scenario, probation is revoked, and a defendant may be sent or returned to prison.

Common Violations include but are not limited to:

  • Committing a new crime
  • Failed drug testing
  • Breaking curfew
  • Missed appointments with a probation offer
  • Failure to complete court-ordered programs in a specified timeline
  • Failure to pay restitution or fines
  • Associating with a known criminal
  • Leaving the county or state without permission
  • Failure to maintain employment

Types of Probation Violations in Florida:

  • Technical violations are failures to comply with court-imposed terms and conditions of probation. The most common outcome for a technical violation is a modification of the probationary period. These cases differ from being charged with a new crime. For a technical violation, the defendant does not have the right to a jury trial. There is no statute of limitations, hearsay is admissible, and a preponderance of the evidence proves guilt. It is easier for a prosecutor to prove its case because the evidentiary standard for a VOP hearing is substantially lower for a technical violation.
  • Substantive violations occur when the probationer is accused of committing a new misdemeanor or felony crime. New charges are filed, and if convicted, a defendant will be sentenced for the new crime. The probationary sentence is often revoked, and jail time is issued. Even if a defendant is acquitted for a new crime, it does not preclude the judge from finding the defendant guilty of a probation violation, with subsequent penalties.

Schedule a Consultation

When facing charges for a probation violation, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to explain the charges and your options. Criminal Defense Attorney Alison Lopes has the knowledge and professionalism to present a defense strategy that best protects your rights and freedom.