Understanding Probation Violation in Florida
Written by Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law on January 25, 2016
In Florida, a probation violation happens when a criminal defendant willfully violates the condition of his or her probation. Probation proceedings are different than ordinary criminal cases. They have a lower standard of proof and do not have the same procedural and constitutional protections a defendant will have in a regular criminal prosecution. If you have violated your probation this article will help you understand the different types of probation and probation violations.
Types of Probation
There are several different type of probation in the state of Florida:
- Probation: The defendant must obey the terms of his or her probation and have regular contact with a probation officer.
- Administrative Probation: The defendant is on probation but does not have to meet regularly with a probation officer.
- Community Control: The defendant is under supervised custody and his or her freedom is extremely restricted. They must fill out a schedule every week and abide by that schedule. A failure to abide by that schedule may result in a warrant being issued.
- Sex Offender Probation: The defendant must follow a treatment plan and is under tight supervision.
- Drug Offender Probation: The defendant receives drug treatment, drug testing, and is under strict supervision.
Probation Violators Have Less Protection
A probation violation proceeding is different than being charged with a new crime. This is because you have already been sentenced to probation. This means you have less legal protection than if you were charged with a new crime. For example:
- There is no statute of limitation on your probation violation;
- There is no right to bond while awaiting a hearing;
- You do not have a right to a jury trial;
- There is no possibility of a bond if you fall under Florida’s Anti-Murder Act,
- Hearsay is admissible evidence;
- Your may be forced to testify against yourself; and
- The prosecution must prove guilty with a “preponderance of the evidence,” a lower burden of proof.
Ways to Violate Your Probation
When you are placed on probation, you will be advised of the conditions of your probation by a judge or a probation officer. If you violate the conditions of your probation, you are at risk of violating your probation. There are two types of probation violations:
- Technical Violation: A technical violation is the violation of the conditions of your parole. You can commit this type of violation by failing to pay court fines/fees, skipping a probation meeting, arriving late to a probation meeting, failing to complete court ordered classes or moving your residence without permission.
- New-Law Violation: New law violations, or substantive violations, happen when you commit a new criminal offense. If the new criminal charge is dropped, a prosecutor may still attempt to prosecute you for probation violation.
What are the Penalties for Violation Probation?
If you violate the conditions of your probation a Florida judge has three options under the law:
- Reinstating your probation;
- Modifying your probation; or
- Revoking your probation and issuing a new sentence
Under Florida law if a judge revokes your probation, he or she may impose the maximum penalty for the original charge for which you were placed on probation.
Let an Attorney Help You with Probation Violation
It is easier for the state to prove and punish you for a probation violation. If you have violated your parole, then you need to seek legal help. Let Moses & Rooth help you. We can guide you through a probation violation defense and seek the best outcome for you. Please contact us today at 407-377-0150, so that we can discuss your defense.