WORKING WITH A BRADENTON PROBATION VIOLATION ATTORNEY
FLORIDA PROBATION TERMS
The court determines the specific terms for each defendant’s probation, there is a set of standard Florida probation terms.
These requirements include:
- Report to your probation officer at the time/days specified and allow probation officers to visit your home, place of employment, or other places
- Hold down a job and support your dependents
- Stay within a county or state limits
- Do not break any new laws
- Do not associate with any known criminals or people who are engaged in criminal activities
- Do not use any controlled substances without a prescription.
- Submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing
- Do not possess or carry any firearms
Many people do not fully understand what they must do to successfully complete probation. Oftentimes the Courts don’t take the time to read over and explain all of the conditions of probation they are imposing. Furthermore, the probation officer may not have the ability to answer all of your questions and not every criminal defense lawyer takes the time to go over every condition of probation. All this grey area leads to violations, and in the state of Florida, there is a zero-tolerance policy for probation violations.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A PROBATION VIOLATION IN MANATEE COUNTY?
Under most circumstances, a violation of probation occurs when your probation officer files an affidavit with the Court alleging that you have violated one or more conditions of your probation. There are two types of violations; technical and substantive.
Some of the most common types of technical violations include:
- Failing to report to your probation officer
- Failing a urine test for, marijuana, cocaine or even a prescription drug
- Not attending certain classes, such anti-theft, drug, alcohol or domestic violence
- Missing court
- Not paying fines, costs and/or fees
Common substantive violations include:
- Getting arrested. You don’t necessarily have to convicted of a new arrest to violate probation, often times the arrest alone may be grounds for violation
- Possessing drugs or paraphernalia (even is very small amounts)
If you violate any of the conditions of your probation, your supervising officer will most likely take the steps needed to get an arrest warrant. Once you are in custody, you will have a violation of probation hearing scheduled.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A PROBATION (VOP) HEARING?
At a probation violation hearing, you do not have the right to a jury trial and it is the judge presiding over your case that determines whether you have violated your probation. The State only needs to prove to the Judge that you “most likely” violated a condition of your probation.
Unlike most criminal cases that must be proven “beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt” the standard of proving a violation of probation is much lower. In a violation of probation hearing you may:
- be forced to testify against yourself and
- not be offered the ability to post bail
What’s at stake during a violation of probation hearing? If a judge determines that more likely than not that you violated a term or condition of your probation, there are three potential penalties. According to section 948.06, Florida Statutes a judge may:
- Reinstate your Probation;
- Modify your Probation Sentence; or
- Revoke the Probation and Impose jail/prison time.
While many of your rights are limited, you do have the right to be represented by a Bradenton probation violation attorney, and you should use it. If you try to defend yourself in a violation of probation hearing, you are putting yourself in grave legal danger. There are literally thousands of different court interpretations on what is and what isn’t a violation. Unless you are an experienced lawyer who reads new and updated case law each and every week, you may not know all of the defenses that are available to you.
RESPECTED BRADENTON PROBATION VIOLATION ATTORNEY
As former Bradenton and Sarasota prosecutors, our legal team offer the insight necessary to build a defense for your probation violation case. If you have been accused of violating your felony or misdemeanor probation in Manatee County, a Bradenton probation violation attorney at Fowler Law Group can help. Contact our office at: (941) 900-3100 to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.
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