Probation Violation Lawyer in Sarasota, Florida
A Musca Lawyer Can Help You With Your Probation Violation Accusations
With its long lineup of laws, codes, and regulations, the Florida criminal justice system is nothing short of complex and confusing. As a result, a criminal arrest can take more than one avenue through state law before judges make a final decision. Once a person is processed through the Florida system, he/she may endure different procedures for arrests, convictions, and ultimate release.
Out of this collective of options, some people are granted probation (via adjudication). As part of this process, the courts will grant criminals probation as part of punishment or offer these terms after the offender’s release. No matter the case, the criminal must obey the rules for his/her probation or be punished.
Accusations of violating probation are serious and can lead to disastrous consequences for you and your loved ones. You should fight for the reinstatement of the original order or a modification of this original ruling, in the very least. To achieve this goal, you can turn to our team at Musca Law for defense.
For more information, get in touch with our office in Sarasota, Florida at (941) 909-3234 to speak with an experienced attorney today.
The Complexity of the Florida Probation System
Being held accountable for violating a probation seems simple enough (as far as crimes go), but the reality of this situation is a much different story for the person responsible. Each criminal must adhere to different terms for his/her probation, which has been specifically tailored for the crime(s) they originally committed.
Probation may include:
- Completion of alcohol/drug treatment programs
- Professional requirements and/or limitations
- Additional terms set in place by the court
Due to the complex network of requirements listed criminals must follow as part of their probation, some people can easily make a mistake and might not even realize they have made one. In one case (for example), some people might not receive a proper readout of their probation requirements, inadvertently putting them at risk of a violation of probation (VOP).
In the end, these actions can carry severe consequences. Some cases, officials may assume a criminal purposefully violated his/her terms, when (in reality) he/she did not intentionally do so. Without aggressive representation, that single belief could trigger severe disciplinary action.
Understanding the Different Categories of Probation
Ultimately, the court will develop rules for probation depending on the severity of the crime and the qualities of the criminal (e.g. age, mental health, drug problems). Some common types of probation under Florida Law appear in Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.001:
- Administration Probation refers to supervision that does not typically involve any contact or reporting, if a criminal does not pose a significantly deadly threat to the public. After completing half of this probation, the Department of Corrections will force the convicts to undergo a milder form of administration probation.
- Community control is a harsher and more controlled form of custody integrated into a community setting (including legal surveillance over the holidays and weekends). Ultimately, the administrative officers supervise and review these programs. In the general process of community control, criminals must stay within community or residential spaces and adhere to strict guidelines and authorizations.
- Drug offender probation is a controlled form of supervision during which drug offenders are forced into rehab plans issued by the administrative officers (who can only review 50 cases).
- Mental health probation is a specific probation combining general mental health treatment/screenings and mental health plans tailored to the criminal’s needs. In this case, the criminals must adhere to strict treatment for different mental health issues and might receive prescription psychotropic substances to control these problems (if needed).
- Sex offender probation (sex offender community control) is a type of supervision that integrates a variety of electronic monitoring and requires the treatment and assessment of registered sex offenders. Officers who supervise these sex offenders must make sure each criminal adheres to his/her treatment plan and participates in polygraph testing (and other forms of close monitoring).
Following the Special Conditions for Florida Probation
Under Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.03, Florida State Court officials will develop the terms and conditions of probation for each criminal. Here are some more details about which actions criminals must follow to avoid a VOP crime:
- Reporting to a probation officer (as ordered by the court).
- Granting permission to the probation officer to visit the home or residence.
- Completing work at an assigned location to the full extent of capabilities.
- Staying at a designated area (determined by law).
- Living without having violated any other laws. (Offenders who do not adhere to this rule will not be required to appear in a Florida Court for a judge to determine probation violations or community control.)
- Repaying/restituting losses suffered by the victims of the crime, in an amount that will be set by members of the court.
- Paying debts to medical/detention facilities (for convicts who were charged after July 1, 1994).
- Putting forth his/her best effort to support legal dependents.
- Paying the debt owed to the State of Florida.
- Payment of an application fee and additional costs (e.g. attorney fees).
- Avoidance of associations with people who take part in crimes.
- Undergoing random testing as ordered by probation officers.
Special Conditions for Criminals in Probation and Community Control Programs
As stated in Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.039, members of the Florida Courts may enact special conditions for criminals enrolled in probation and community control programs. Ultimately, these officials must create and set terms that are relevant to the crime in question and tailored to meet the needs of each criminal.
Here is a closer look at these special conditions:
- Routine attendance of a program for HIV and AIDS, if available in the county where the convict lives. These programs are roughly 2 to 4 hours on average.
- Paying a monthly fee of $1 to a nonprofit group for rehabilitation activities during the entirety of probation or community control (supervised by the Department of Control)
Rewards for Successful Completion of Probation in Florida
Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.04(1) states that any people who have been punished for committing a felony and have been granted probation will be supervised for 2 years, unless a different period of time is enacted by the court. However, criminals enrolled in probation or community control programs must undergo intense supervision for the period of the entire probation program.
Under Chapter 94804(2), defendants who have successfully completed their probation and obeyed all terms and conditions will no longer be charged for the crimes they have previously committed. Nevertheless, Florida Law dictates that these criminals must meet all probation requirements before court officials drop any of their charges.
Under the same conditions, Chapter 948.04(3) dictates that any people who have successfully completed probation or community control program and have done so without demonstrating any backlash will be granted an early conclusion of his/her probation, as per recommendation by officials from the Department of Corrections.
Important Facts about the Pretrial Intervention Process for Florida Criminals
As dictated by Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.08, members of the department will supervise the procedures for each intervention for people who have committed crimes, prior to the filing of detailed information or a return of an indictment (via circuit court). These procedures will include the enactment of medical programs, mental health screenings, counseling sessions, educational programs, and probation/community control resources.
After a period of pretrial intervention, administrators may make the following recommendations:
- Channeling the case through normal pathways if the culprit has not met all qualifications and has unacceptably performed
- Additional supervision for the criminal in question
- Dismissing any charges related to the case (without any prejudice), if prosecution is redundant in this case
After the pretrial period, court members must consider if each of these suggestions are valid.
What Happens if a Criminal Violates His/Her Probation?
Any person who has been accused of violating the terms of his/her probation may be arrested without warrant. Next, these people will be brought before the members of a Florida Court, who have the power to revoke, change, or reinstate this order. Ultimately, court officials may also order the violator to be placed in a community control program (keeping with FS 948.06).
Procedures That Accompany Charges of Violation of Probation
Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.06(1a) states, if any official believes a criminal has broken the terms of probation or community control program, law enforcement officers who are fully aware of this convict’s participation in any of these programs or a probation officer may ask members of a municipal law enforcement organization to take this man/woman into custody (without a need for a warrant).
Here is a more in-depth look at the procedures accompanying potential violations of probation:
- Chapter 948.06(1b): Any trial court judge (committing) has the legal right to issue a warrant for the arrest of the offender who did not meet the requirements of probation by means of an affidavit. In special cases, these judges may also issue notices if this criminal has never committed qualifying offenses in Florida.
- Chapter 948.06(1c): If the judge can produce substantial evidence that the criminal has violated probation (as instigated by members of a Florida Court), officers may issue a warrant for the arrest of this person.
Here is a closer look at the details for hearings involving a crime concerning violations of probation, as dictated in Chapter 948.06(1-d, 1-3). Based on the rules presented in this code, a court must:
- Inform the criminal who violated his/her probation of the situation.
- Demand (possibly) this individual to be taken before the court that originally set this probation.
- Release the culprit without awaiting bail or committing this man/woman, depending on the severity of the crime in question.
- Consider the severity of the crime (for determination of bail).
Will the Court Make Exceptions for Violations of Probation?
As shown in Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.06(3) dictates that court members cannot allow the culprit to receive any credit for any previously-completed terms of probation if the court has previously revoked this criminal’s probation or participation in a community control program. Additionally, the court might not permit subsequent probation, as mixed with previous probation rulings.
Punishment for Convicted Felons Who Violate Probation
Under Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.06(4), any men or women who have committed felonies in the State of Florida and have been arrested for violating the set terms of probation, or a community control program, will automatically be forced to appear before the court that initially granted these programs.
If the criminal had been charged with committing a serious crime, is a registered sex offender/predator, or has undergone close management, the court must determine if this man/woman poses a significant threat to the public.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the crime, no warrants shall be dismissed in any of these cases.
Punishment for Sex Offenders Who Have Violated Probation
As stated in Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 948.063, any man or woman who has been listed as a sexual offender or sexual predator (due to the act of attempt to have sexual activity with a juvenile who is at most 15 years of age) and has been charged with violating his/her probation must undergo an additional term of supervision after the court has revoked his/her probation or community service program. For criminals who are under 18 years of age, the court will issue electronic monitoring as part of the sentence.
Combat Accusations of Probation Violation with Musca Law Today!
In unfortunate events, criminals might break the rules of their probation without even understanding why this has taken place. In many cases, a simple misunderstanding of this nature can produce disastrous consequences. After all, the court will not always regard probation violations as inconsequential infractions. To defend your rights and regain your freedom, seek the help of a Florida attorney knowledgeable in probation violation cases. Get in touch with Musca Law today to secure your freedom and secure a better future.