A Navy recruit, serving a 12 month period of probation for a DUI incurred a technical violation to the terms of his probation. A warrant was issued for his arrest and the State Attorney recommended 60 days in jail.
DUI Probation In Florida Mandatory Terms
Under Florida law, a DUI is a criminal charge. Many terms are mandatory for DUI probation. These terms include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Car impoundment
- DUI schooling and treatment center
Fifty hours of community service is mandated for the first DUI charge. Popular community service projects include working with Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Clubs, churches, and the Salvation Army.
These terms are set for every DUI charge, whether it is the first or the third charge. Judges are mandated to give these so he or she will not have any discretion over the DUI charge. However, the judge may be able to make some modifications so the offender is able to comply.
Probation is a privilege, considering the alternative is incarceration. During a probation period, it is a goal to rehabilitate the probationer.
Technical Violation of Probation
A technical violation is a violation of the probation sentence and it does not involve a new crime. There are many different variations of technical violations of probation. These can include failure to pay fines, failure to complete DUI schooling, not completing the required number of community service hours, not meeting with the probation officer as set with the probation sentencing, failing a drug/urine test, failure to obtain employment or anything else that the probation officer can think of that supposedly violates your probation sentence.
Violation of Probation Steps
If a probation officer feels the offender has violated a term of the probation, he or she will sign an affidavit to give to the judge for the arrest of the individual.
The offender will then be given a hearing where a judge will determine if there was a violation of probation. There is not a jury in violation of probation hearings, often referred to as VOP hearings. The judge will decide if the violation was “willful”, meaning the offender meant to violate the terms, or “not willful”, meaning violation was not the intent. If the violation is deemed willful, jail time can be given. If there was not any intention of breaking terms of probation, the offender will be required to finish the terms set forth in the DUI probation.
If efforts are given to comply with the conditions of the probation but fail due to some factor that is out of control of the offender, the violation is not willful or substantial in the state of Florida. If the offender believed the probation period was over, the violation of probation could also be seen as unintended or not willful.
RESULT: Our Probation Violation Defense Attorney submitted evidence and was able to persuade the Court that the Defendant completed requirements of his probation. The Court DISMISSED the violation and closed his case.