Violation of Probation (VOP) in Orlando. FL
Florida law defines the term "probation" as a type of community supervision, or an alternative to imprisonment, which involves a requirement that the person complete certain requirements imposed by the court as well as attend regular meetings with a probation officer.
The court may assign someone to probation or community control in Florida, instead of imprisonment, at the court’s discretion when the person has been found guilty or entered a plea to a non-felony offense. Also, the court may assign felony offenders who have been found guilty or plead to a crime to probation or community control. Offenses that are capital felonies do not qualify for probation or community control.
The courts in Orlando, Orange County, Florida often consider violations of probation to be severe, and can revoke or modify the terms of your probation if the requirements are not followed exactly. Probation violations can be considered "technical" or "substantive." For many VOP cases, the person accused should hire an attorney experienced in fighting probation violation cases in Orlando, FL. Although the court can impose up to the statutory maximum term of jail or prison for that offense, the court can also decide to keep the terms of your probation the same and simply reinstate the probation giving the person another chance to complete all the conditions.
Orlando Violation of Probation Attorney
The attorneys at Hale, Hale & Jacobson can help you avoid harsh punishments and severe repercussions after an allegation that you violated a technical or substantive condition of your probation in Orlando, Florida. Maria D. Hale is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s criminal laws, and will make every effort to help you avoid serious penalties and punishments. Call the law offices of Hale & Hale at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your probation violation today.
Orlando Probation Violations Information Center
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Statutes About Violations of Probation in Florida
Violations of probation can happen very easily, and can occur if your probation officer has any reasonable grounds to believe you violated any of the terms of your probation in any material way (Florida Statutes § 948.06). If there is suspicion you violated your probation requirements, any law enforcement officer may then arrest you, or the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest.
Community Control, as defined in Florida Statutes § 948.001, is supervised custody in the community, home or another place that has specific rules and requirements. For example, halfway houses are considered community control. Community control is daily supervision and surveillance by law enforcement officers, including weekends and holidays.
Community control is more strict than probation, and is available to offenders who commit certain crimes that would not otherwise be available for probation. For example, those who commit serious felonies or felony offenders who have a criminal background may be eligible for community control, but would not be eligible for probation. However, violating terms of community control can result in the same penalties as probation violations.
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Possible Terms of Probation in Orlando, FL
Not following the requirements of your probation can be a violation of your probation and lead the severe consequences. The terms of your probation may require you to do the following:
- Attend classes or counseling
- Find an appropriate job
- Make your home available for observation by your probation or parole officer
- Not leave a specified county, city or state
- Pay any fees
- Pay restitution
- Perform community service
- Submit to random drug or alcohol testing
- Support anyone legally dependant on you
- Timely report to probation and parole supervisors
You may also be prohibited from doing the following:
- Associating with any other persons involved with criminal activities
- Carrying a firearm or weapon
- Violating any other laws while on probation
- Visiting a place where alcohol or controlled substances are sold
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Florida Probation Hearings for Violations in Orlando, FL
If you have been arrested for violating probation, you will be permitted to have a hearing in front of a judge. However, since you have already been sentenced to probation for committing a crime, you will not be entitled to a jury.
Once your hearing is set after an arrest for violating probation, the sentencing judge will hear the facts of your alleged violation, and determine if you did in fact violate any of the terms or conditions. Since a probation violation is not like a new criminal charge, you can be forced to testify against yourself and witness testimony can be used against you.
The prosecuting attorney in a probation violation hearing does not need to prove you violated probation beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidentiary standard for probation violations is a preponderance of the evidence, which means it was more likely you violated probation than you did not. Therefore, it will be easier for a prosecutor to win a probation violation hearing than to win a new criminal case if you are not adequately represented at the hearing.
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Penalties for Violating Probation in Orlando, FL
The punishments for violating probation can be more extreme than your initial sentence, and can often include any of the following:
- No right to bond after arrests, which means you will have to sit in jail until your hearing
- The time already served on probation will not count towards your sentence
- Additional charges and punishments added to your initial sentence
- A guilty conviction for the original offense, which may affect your eligibility toward sealing or expunging your record later
- Possible sentencing of the maximum punishment for the original offense
It is important to hire an attorney to represent you in order to avoid the most severe penalties and repercussions.
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Probation Violation Resources in Orlando, Orange County, FL
Florida Adult Community Supervision – the Florida Department of Corrections seeks to protect the safety of the public while providing proper care and instruction to offenders while assisting their re-entry into society. The Orlando office is located at:
Orlando Community Supervision Intake
400 W. Robinson Street, Suite 709S
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: (407) 245-0274
Florida’s Probation Statutes Online – This web site contains all of the Florida Statutes governing Florida’s rules for probation, community control and violations of probation and community control.
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Hale, Hale & Jacobson | Orlando Probation Violation Arrest Lawyer
Contact the law offices of Hale, Hale & Jacobson today for a consultation about your probation violation in Orlando, Florida. It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to hear your side of the story and who can assist you with your particular case. Contact Hale, Hale & Jacobson at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your probation violation in Orange County and surrounding areas, including Seminole County, Osceola County, Orlando, Winter Park and Kissimmee.
Contributor: Richard Hale