Violation Of Probation
Violation of Probation? Our Spring Hill Criminal Defense Attorneys Fight to Protect Your Rights
Committed to minimizing penalties for violation of probation
While in a typical prosecution the prosecutor must show that the defendant is guilty of the offense by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof is much lower in a probation violation hearing. The judge need only find that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant violated probation in a material respect. A simple mistake does not provide sufficient grounds, as the prosecution must show the violation was committed in a willful and substantial manner. This lowered standard of proof and lack of procedural protections can be troubling for a defendant facing conviction for violating probation. The dedicated Spring Hill criminal defense attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. fight zealously to protect your rights and keep you out of jail after a violation of probation (VOP) charge.
Types of probation violations
Each defendant who is sentenced to probation is given a set of restrictions and instructions to follow. Some of the most common types of probation violation include:
- Defendant commits a new offense: The prosecution must show the defendant committed a new criminal offense during the period of probation by using evidence other than hearsay.
- Defendant tests positive for drugs: Most criminal defendants are instructed not to use drugs during probation and might be required to undergo routine or random drug testing.
- Failure to complete a treatment program or training: Criminal defendants may be ordered to complete a drug treatment program, attend domestic violence workshops or undergo therapy.
- Failure to meet financial obligations: Criminal defendants can be ordered to pay probation costs, restitution, fines and other fees.
Penalties for violating probation
Probation officers have considerable discretion in deciding what to do about a defendant who is suspected of violating probation. They may issue a warning to the defendant in hopes that the warning will deter similar conduct in the future while not subjecting the defendant to more involvement with the criminal justice system. Alternatively, they may require the defendant to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. In Florida, the penalties for VOP are clear.
If an evidentiary hearing is conducted and the judge determines that the defendant violated probation, the court can impose any sentence that could have originally been imposed at the original sentencing. This means that even if a defendant accepted a plea bargain for two years on an offense that had a five-year maximum, the judge can order the defendant to serve the remaining three years.
Other possible punishments include:
- Probation is extended for a longer period of time
- A brief amount of jail time is ordered
- Additional probation terms are imposed
Contact us today at 352-247-4400 for a free initial consultation with an experienced Spring Hill criminal defense lawyer
If you are facing violation of probation charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. immediately. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin preparing your defense. Call our Spring Hill office at 352-247-4400 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.