In Florida, there are special terms that you must abide by for your probation. When you don’t follow these conditions, you could violate those probation terms. If you need legal assistance for your probation case, make sure to reach out to Alexander Smith-Johnson. He is an experienced Kissimmee-based criminal defense lawyer who can help with your legal issue.
When a person has been sentenced to probation, the individual must abide by all those terms of the sentence. If they “willfully and substantially” failed to comply with those rules, then it can be considered a probation violation.
According to Florida Statute 948.001(8), probation is defined as court-ordered supervision that requires meetings with a probation officer. There may be other terms and conditions of your sentence. Many different crimes can be punished with probation, such as DUI charges or perhaps even robbery. It is up to the judge to determine if probation is possible, but only if it’s an option according to Florida state law.
After a judge has sentenced you, you must meet with a probation officer within 24 hours. At this meeting, the officer will describe the process and review the conditions of your probation.
When you violate your terms and conditions, you could serve the entire sentence of your first charge in jail or prison.
Due to the terms of your probation, you might have to maintain appointments with a mental health counselor or schedule a weekly drug test. In some cases, you must avoid certain places and people. Some common probation violations include:
A violation can occur when an individual commits a secondary crime. At this time, you will remain incarcerated until a probation officer files a violation of probation (VOP) report. This process is known as an “on-view” arrest.
With a Violation of Probation Affidavit, the case will be heard in front of a judge. The probation officer will outline how you have broken the conditions of your probation. There will also be a recommendation for a sentence if you are found guilty of the violation.
The judge will review your case after considering many different factors, such as:
After all the evidence has been presented, the judge will make a decision. There could be a bond, zero bond (no release from jail), or an issued notice to appear at a specific date.
At this time, a warrant can be issued for your arrest. The judge can also attach a “No Bond” stipulation to your arrest warrant. When you are arrested, you are not entitled to a bond, but you can still file a motion and request a hearing before the judge.
In Florida, there are several types of probation. They include:
In Kissimmee, it is quite common for the judge to set a zero bond. When that happens, you must stay in jail. For that reason, you want a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can prepare for your hearing. You need the proper representation for your case. Probation violations must be handled with efficiency and urgency with a knowledgeable attorney on your side.
Criminal charges and the Anti-Murderer Act can be tricky for many defendants. Without legal counsel, you could face harsh consequences if you violate your probation. If your offense qualified under the Florida Anti-Murder Act, then the judge will more than likely set zero bond for you. Your criminal defense lawyer will need to review your case to determine your eligibility for a bond.
In the criminal court system, you must enter a plea before the judge. Guilt must be established “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, your guilt only needs to be established by a “preponderance of the evidence.” In simple terms, if it is more likely than not you have violated your terms, you will be found guilty.
Punishments for probation violations are left up to the court. The defendant will be able to give an explanation for why they violated the terms. During the hearing, the judge can verify the validity of those claims. If you are found not guilty, you can continue with the conditions of your probation. However, a guilty verdict may include serving time for the original offense.
Most of the sentencing is at the judge’s discretion. Punishments can vary from a warning to prison time. In Florida, the judge has three options:
In any case, you will need the assistance of an experienced probation violation lawyer in Kissimmee.
If you have violated the conditions of probation, you need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. You might have forgotten about an appointment or had an emergency occur in your family. There are many reasons why you have violated those terms and conditions of probation.
Alexander Smith-Johnson has represented many clients facing probation violations and is Kissimmee’s top criminal defense attorney. He understands the legal process and will help to protect your rights during the hearing. You could face harsh penalties if you wait to seek legal advice. If you need to schedule a consultation, contact the Kissimmee office today!