What To Know About Probation And Violations Of Probation In Florida
A probation term involves specific responsibilities for those sentenced, including guidelines that must be followed in order to complete a sentence and avoid additional punishment. Probation violations in Florida can lead to serious penalties and lasting consequences for those that don’t follow the rules they’ve been given.
Some consequences of probation violations can include additional jail time, restrictions or suspensions of driver’s licenses, additional fines and costs, or even loss of employment in some situations.
What is Probation in Florida?
Section 948.03 of the Florida Statutes defines what the terms and conditions of probation may involve. Among these potential requirements are:
- To report to a probation officer as directed;
- To permit a probation officer to visit them at their home or elsewhere;
- To obtain and maintain employment, or to keep a log of jobs applied for;
- To remain within a certain area (for example, not to leave the city, county, or State of Florida);
- To avoid any new violations of the law;
- To avoid consumption of drugs and/or alcohol, if their charged crime involved substance abuse;
- To comply with drug testing and/or counseling;
- To pay restitution to crime victims for any damages suffered.
As you can see, probationers can be required to adhere to a long list of requirements to comply with probation and avoid jail. The number of requirements and limitations set by them usually depend on what the nature of the defendant’s charged crime was.
What is a Probation Violation in Florida?
violation of probation – also known as a “VOP” – occurs when a person disobeys any term or condition required by their probation. From the first day of probation to the day probation ends, violations of probation can have the same consequences.
Section 948.06 of the Florida Statutes provides that, if a probation officer or law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe a probation violation has occurred, they can have the alleged violator arrested without a warrant and brought to court. Otherwise, the court that entered the probation order can issue a warrant for the alleged violator’s arrest and detention.
Following an arrest, a hearing date will be set on the probation violation. These hearings are less formal than a criminal trial, and the prosecution does not have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They must only show by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation occurred, and their evidence can include hearsay statements from probation officers, law enforcement, or other witnesses.
For these reasons, it can be critical that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney at your side to argue your side of the story and help avoid a damaging result at the VOP hearing. One possible outcome of these hearings is a revocation of probation followed by incarceration. Another outcome could be the reinstatement and continuation of probation, however. An attorney can help guide you toward the best possible result in these situations.
The Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys at Joshi Law Firm, PA Can Help Those Facing a Violation of Probation Hearing
Probation is intended to help set people on the right path and get the help they need. Sometimes there will be bumps in the road or misunderstandings regarding the probation terms or a person’s conduct while on probation. If you find yourself facing allegations that you violated your probation, the Orlando criminal attorneys at Joshi Law Firm can help. To learn more, call our legal team today at 407-661-1109, or complete our online case questionnaire today.