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Fort Lauderdale Probation Violation Lawyers

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The Florida Department of Corrections has the overwhelming responsibility of overseeing approximately 160,000 offenders each year who are placed on of Florida’s many different kinds of probation, including community probation, controlled release, conditional release, work release, administrative control, and parole.

Community supervision is a form of surveillance conducted by the state that forces specific restrictions on an offender instead of sentencing them to prison or as an extended punishment following their release. F.S. 948.001-90 grants judges in the state of Florida enjoy a wide berth when it comes to choosing the terms of an offender’s probation deal. These terms may involve educational sessions, community service, drug testing, maintaining contact with probation offices, or going to alcohol and drug counseling sessions.

Here in Florida, supervised probation is regarded as a privilege, not a right. Nobody is entitled to receive probation. At the Florida offices of the Musca Law team, our Fort Lauderdale probation violation criminal defense attorneys know all too well that when an offender neglects to follow all of the specific conditions of their probation, it can cause a lot of problems.

Any violation of the terms of your probation is an extremely serious criminal charge. The state of Florida routinely requests very severe punishments for an offense of this nature, even for basic technical violations. Here at the Fort Lauderdale offices of Musca Law, our criminal defense attorneys are pleased to be able to provide exceptional legal representation and offer committed, reliable legal counsel to all of our clients. We always work hard to make certain that their freedoms and liberties are well defended. If you have been charged with a violation of probation offense, then please do not wait to get in touch with our reputable legal team and ask to speak to one of our Fort Lauderdale probation violation criminal defense attorneys. Call us today at (954) 302-5391 to speak with one of our highly qualified representatives.

Different Types of Probation Issued in Florida

Here in the state of Florida, there are many distinctive kinds of probation to which an offender can be assigned:

  • Probation
    As defined by the Florida Department of Corrections, “probation is a period of community supervision ordered by the court for a specific period of time.” During their time on probation, the offender must obey all of the court’s requirements; she or he will likely also be subjected to routine visits from their probation officer no less than once every month. These mandatory visits can take place at their place of residence or at their place of employment
  • Administrative Probation
    Administrative probation is a form of non-contact supervision for those people who have been classified as being low risk. For the people who are assessed as such, they will be changed over to administrative probation after they have successfully completed at least half of the duration of their standard probation. These individuals will still be exposed to periodic background checks
  • Community Control
    Community control is a very distinct kind of managed house arrest, meaning that the offender’s autonomy is limited to a particular geographic area. The offender might be subjected to holiday or weekend supervision by law enforcement officers who already have similar cases. The majority of the people who are sentenced to community control probation are prison diversion program participants. Prison diversion programs are a kind of rehabilitation that is designed to help rectify whatever criminal behavior led to the initial arrest and help the offender avoid a conviction and subsequent criminal record.
  • Community Control II
    The community control II version of probation is comparable to the standard community control probation. The exception here is that an electronic monitoring device is also utilized as an augmentation that permits the individual to be surveilled around the clock seven days a week by an independent company. In the event that someone from this company should witness a perimeter breach or a curfew violation, the probation staff would then be promptly and directly notified
  • Sexual Offender Probation
    Sexual offender probation is a type of supervised probation that is expressly for those offenders who have been found guilty of a sexually motivated offense. This form of probation is intended to be a more stringent method of probation for heightened public safety. While someone is on sex offender probation, they have to go through both counseling and treatment. The individual will also be compelled to relinquish two blood samples that will be recorded and filed with the DNA data bank

Different Classifications of Sex Offenders in Florida

  • Sex Offender: A sex offender is someone who has been convicted of a sexually motivated crime such as child pornography or soliciting sexual favors from someone who was under 18 years of age
  • Sexual Predator: A sexual predator is a sexual offender who has also either been convicted of a first-degree felony that is related to some kind of sexual misconduct, or a sexual offender who has been convicted of two second-degree felonies that are related to some kind of sexual misconduct
  • Drug Offender Probation
    Drug offender probation is for those who have been found guilty of a drug-related crime. With this type of probation, offenders will be placed on a much more intense style of supervised probation wherein the participant will be exposed to individual treatment plans, routine monitoring, and arbitrary drug testing. They will also be required to maintain routine appointments with a correctional officer to make certain that they are not engaging in any illegal drug use.

The Two Types of Probation Violations

Not all probation violations carry the same weight. As a matter of fact, there are actually two very clear classifications:

  • Technical Violation: In certain circumstances, it is possible to infract your probation agreement even without perpetrating any crime that could end in your arrest. This is called a technical violation and is often just a kind of misconduct that goes against the guidelines that were given to you by the court but do not actually break any law. A for instance of this would be if you neglected, for whatever reason, to show up for a pre-arranged meeting with your parole officer.
  • Substantive Violation: A substantive violation is a probation violation that has arisen from an offense that would have brought about your arrest no matter whether or not you were on probation at the time the offense was committed.

Violating Your Probation in Fort Lauderdale

If you or someone that you love has found themselves accused of a probation violation, then you are in very real danger of your probation being completely revoked. After the infraction has been marked, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. After you are taken into custody, you will not be allowed to bond out. It is essential that you understand that you will not have the right to be given a trial in front of a jury. As opposed to your primary case in which the burden of proof was laid squarely on the shoulders of the prosecution to establish that you had in fact committed the stated offense beyond a reasonable doubt, in a case of a violation of probation, the state would only be required to postulate that it is very probable that you violated the terms of your probation.

Penalties for Violations of Probation

Penalties for violations of one’s probation in the state of Florida may include but are not limited to:

  • The judge may require supplementary terms and conditions be added to your probation, such as more frequent probation meetings, drug testing, restrictions on where you can go and when etc.
  • The judge may increase the duration of your probation
  • The judge may sentence you to additional time in prison or jail

Common Probation Violations in Florida

A few of the more typical kinds of probation violations include but are not limited to:

  • New violations or offenses of the law
  • Testing positive for illegal drug use
  • Neglecting to successfully finish your assigned drug treatment program
  • Neglecting to successfully finish your assigned batterer’s intervention programs
  • Neglecting to pay off your administrative fines
  • Consorting with people that you have been ordered by the court to stay away from
  • Missing your scheduled check-ins, appointments or drug tests

Violation Proceedings

In the event that your probation officer receives information pertaining to a probation violation on your part, then she or he will register what is known as an Affidavit of Violation with the appropriate court. You will then be ordered to come before a judge to be held accountable for your suspected violation. You may also get a court summons or there may even be a warrant circulated for your arrest.

The Affidavit of Violation is a sworn account that outlines the reasons why the probation officer had a very good reason to feel that the offender perpetrated a violation of his or her probation.

In the majority of situations, an arrest warrant will be issued. The offender will then be given a status of “no bond”, which will compel her or him to stay in custody until their scheduled hearing date.

Following that, there will be an arraignment concerning the probation violation offense and after that the court will schedule a date for an evidentiary hearing wherein the state will be burdened with the task of proving that you really did commit the alleged violation.

If you have been charged with a violation of your probation, then we strongly urge you to confer with an accomplished, reputable probation violation criminal defense attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area as soon as you are able to do so. Do not wait until the last minute to start.

The reason that you give for the probation violation is going to cause a notable distinction in the next steps that the judge takes. Committing an entirely new offense is going to be handled much differently than showing up one hour late for a scheduled meeting with your probation officer. Nevertheless, it is important to bear in mind that the judge has a wide berth when it comes to deciding how to handle your infraction. Going to jail is almost always on offer when you are considering all of the possible sentences for a probation violation offense, so it is extremely crucial that you make certain that your rights are sufficiently and skillfully protected.

Proving a Probation Violation

In an effort to prove that you have in fact violated the terms of your probation, the prosecution will be required to demonstrate that your probation violation was both:

  • Willful
  • Substantial

As it was shown in the 1992 Florida case of Steiner v. State, the courts are permitted to withdraw the sentence of community control or supervised probation in the event that the prosecution is able to demonstrate, with a sufficient amount of evidence, that the offender did both substantially and willfully disobey one or more distinct terms of their probation.

A decision of whether or not the violation was willful and substantial is made on a case-by-case premise, and it is the prosecution that is required to bear the burden of proof by providing satisfactory evidence. For example, in the past the Florida courts have decided that some circumstances did not qualify as satisfactory evidence of a substantial  and willful probation violation:

  • The offender being discovered in the vicinity of legal drugs
  • The offender being arrested with no satisfactory evidence that any new crime has taken place
  • The offender being unable to provide pay stubs or any proof of employment in a case where the prosecution has been unable to show that the offender has not been earnestly trying to find employment 
  • The offender not returning to the state of Florida due to the fact that her or his vehicle broke down
  • The offender failing to answer his or her door when a probation officer drops by for a home visit 

If you or someone you love has been charged with violating the terms and conditions of their probation in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas, we strongly advise you to reach out to the criminal defense attorneys here at Musca Law. Even a small technical violation of your probation could have very negative and unintended consequences. Our probation violation attorneys are able to examine your case and discuss what legal options you have available. Please, reach out at (954) 302-5391 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as you can.

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