Jacksonville Probation Violation Attorneys
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Violations of probation in the state of Florida occur when a criminal defendant willfully and substantially breaks the conditions set forth in the probation sentence. At Monroe & King, P.A., our experienced Jacksonville probation violation lawyers have defended hundreds of clients in probation violation hearings, and we can represent you in court to seek a favorable outcome.
Call us at (904) 474-3115 today for a free consultation with our Jacksonville probation violation attorneys.
Violation of Probation Florida
Penalties for probation violations in Florida can be severe. Once probation is revoked, the court may impose the maximum statutory sentence for the original offense. With the knowledgeable and compassionate help of Jacksonville probation violation lawyers from Monroe & King, P.A., you can get the legal representation you need to understand your options and fight for a positive solution.
Violations of probation may involve:
- Positive drug tests
- Failure to meet with probation officer
- Law violations or new offenses
- Failure to pay required financial obligations
Understanding Florida Probation Laws
In order for a court to find a defendant guilty of violating probation, it must prove that the defendant willfully and substantially violated the terms of the probationary contract. If the violating actions were done out of mental illness, ineptitude, or negligence, the actions in themselves cannot prove that the defendant willfully broke the contract. Our Jacksonville probation violation attorneys have a passion for defending clients’ rights in court and can use their extensive experience to aggressively represent you in probation violation hearings.
The proceedings begin when a supervising officer files an Affidavit of Violation with the court or a Department of Corrections Violation Report in a felony case. Once the necessary documents are filed, the court will review the officer’s allegations, determine if reasonable grounds for the complaint exist, and issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, often on a “no bond” status. The court will then arraign the defendant and schedule a hearing, so the prosecution may present evidence to prove that the defendant willfully and substantially violated the terms of probation.
Types of Probation Violations in Florida
When on probation, there are a significant number of rules that must be followed to a tee. Because of this, many individuals accidentally or unavoidably violate their probation. There are two types of violations with very different circumstances.
This type of violation occurs when a condition of probation is broken, such as:
- Missing a court date
- Not paying a fine
- Missing a meeting with a probation officer
- Staying out past curfew
Hundreds of thousands of people are found guilty of these violations each year, putting them at risk of going back to jail for a relatively minor offense. While these are seemingly minor violations, they can still result in serious changes to one’s probation status.
It’s also easy to accidentally violate your probation in one of these ways. If a simple mistake led you to be charged with violating your probation, a Jacksonville probation violation lawyer can help explain this to the court and advocate for understanding and leniency.
This type of violation is more serious. A substantive violation occurs when the individual on probation commits a new crime. For example, getting a DUI while on probation. This type of violation can result in a probation violation charge and a charge for the new offense.
What Happens at a Probation Violation Hearing?
After the courts are alerted that you violated probation, you’ll be required to attend a probation violation hearing.
At the hearing, the defendant is given the opportunity to admit or deny the violation. During the hearing for a probation violation, the judge will hear the case and determine whether any terms of the probation were violated. The violation of probation will need to be proven by way of "preponderance of evidence" from the prosecuting attorney, meaning it is more likely than not that probation was violated.
A few factors that the sentencing judge may take into consideration during this hearing include:
- Nature, type, and seriousness of the violation
- Evidence supporting / countering the accusation
- History of prior violations
- Other aggravating / mitigating factors
If possible, treat this probation violating hearing as your would a criminal trial, prepare evidence that supports your side and get the representation of a Jacksonville probation violation lawyer on your side.
What to Expect at a Probation Violation Hearing in Florida
At this hearing, the judge will decide what repercussions you should face for violating your probation. There are a few potential outcomes.
The judge may determine that you should no longer be allowed on probation. This outcome is most likely if the defendant was on probation for a felony offense or if they committed a substantive violation. When this occurs, the judge will also impose a sentence for the initial offense that led to the individual being sentenced to probation.
If the judge allows the defendant to stay on probation, they may alter the terms. This could include adding new conditions that must be followed or adding time to the length of the probation sentence.
While ideally the probationer will be allowed to continue on without any changes after their violation, this is the least common outcome. Still, the probationer may be given a warning and be kept on the same probation setup. This is especially true for individuals who have no prior record of violating their probation.
Preparing for a FL Probation Violation Hearing
If you’ve recently been notified by the courts that you need to attend a probation violation hearing, there are things you can do to prepare.
- Hire an attorney: Working with an attorney gives you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Hire a defense attorney to help you prepare a defense and advocate for you at your hearing.
- Be professional: When you attend your hearing, make sure you are in proper attire and address the judge respectfully. These little actions can make a difference in the final decision and your outcome.
- If applicable, establish your alibi: You may be facing a probation violation charge when you are actually innocent. In this case, look for evidence that can support your alibi.
Passionate Legal Assistance for Probation Violation Cases
Our firm provides experienced representation for clients facing violation of probation charges in Florida. Probation is seen as a privilege, and the team at Monroe & King, P.A. can work efficiently to defend your rights and seek a beneficial outcome. Our Jacksonville probation violation defense lawyers can discuss your options and build a defense for your case.
If you have been charged with violating your probation, call our Jacksonville probation violation attorneys immediately at (904) 474-3115 for dedicated legal assistance.
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