Orlando Probation Violation Lawyer
The Florida Probation and Parole Division is the third-largest corrections bureaucracy in the nation. Almost all offenders, especially people convicted of possession offenses, receive probation in Florida. The reason is mostly economic. Prisons cost over a billion dollars a year, and the community supervision system is largely self-sufficient. Fines, court costs, and supervision fees make up a significant portion of the probation department’s budget.
The dedicated Orlando probation violation lawyers at Joshi Law Firm, PA are committed to helping probation violators avoid prison or jail time. Since this outcome is in everyone’s best interests, as mentioned above, this result is usually not difficult for an experienced lawyer to engineer. Because of this commitment, we are usually able to obtain results which exceed our clients’ expectations.
Generally, probation officers direct probationers to follow a number of conditions. The two biggest ones are:
- No Further Convictions: Most jurisdictions have automatic violation rules regarding this condition. If a defendant is arrested for any reason, other than perhaps a reckless driving-like traffic ticket, the probation office automatically files a motion to revoke probation.
- Regular Reporting: Typically, most probationers must report to supervision officers at least twice a month, at least initially. Later, the number of visits might go to once a month. At these meetings, most probationers must submit to drug tests and produce documents, like pay stubs.
Next, there are a number of conditions which are largely technical. Although prosecutors could use them as a basis for a revocation action, most probation officers give probationers a chance to make things right before they refer the matter to prosecutors. Some common technical conditions include:
- Pay fines, costs, restitution, and other money,
- Perform community service,
- Avoid “injurious habits,” which is a rather nebulous phrase,
- Work and/or attend school full time, and
- Attend court-ordered counseling and other programs as required.
Finally, there are usually some offense-specific conditions. For example, most DUI probationers must obtain alcohol counseling. This requirement is often an issue for first-time offenders who had one too many on the wrong night. If these individuals tell alcohol counselors they don’t have a substance abuse problem, many counselors conclude that the person is in denial, and they refuse to close the case.
Resolving Probation Violation Matters
Many criminal cases involve proof issues. But these proof issues are usually absent in probation revocation matters. Most violations are straightforward. Probationers either paid money or they didn’t.
If the violation involves some independent proof, such as possessing an illegal substance, the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. That’s much lower than the evidence requirement in a criminal case.
Nevertheless, it’s usually possible to resolve these disputes out of court. Common resolutions include extending the probation term and serving some brief time in jail as a condition of reinstatement. Back-end extensions are usually not too burdensome, since the defendant has already checked most items off the list. And, most defendants receive time served if the judge orders them to serve time as a condition of reinstatement.
Additional options are available in deferred adjudication probation revocation matters. For example, the judge could proceed to judgement and reinstate the probation.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Orange County Probation Lawyer
If you have been accused of violating your probation, know that you have a right to a hearing and a right to be represented by one of our high-quality criminal defense attorneys. For a free consultation with an experienced probation violation defense lawyer in Orlando, contact the Joshi Law Firm, PA. Virtual and after-hours visits are available.