A violation of Probation (VOP) charge is no laughing matter. Such an offense can carry serious penalties if you are found guilty. If you have been charged with violating probation, you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to protect your rights. The Berman Law Group has built a reputation as fearless defenders of their client’s rights. With decades of experience, we have the knowledge and skill to help you fight to clear your name.
If you need a defense attorney, call The Berman Law Group right now at 1 (800) 375-5555 for a free consultation, where you’ll receive an honest and thorough evaluation of your case from a member of our knowledgeable team.
According to Florida Statute 948.001, probation is defined as a form of community supervision in which an offender is required to abide by a series of conditions and terms, ordered by the court, in lieu of a jail sentence. Probation, as defined by the legal code of the State of Florida, is not a right, but rather a privilege. In fact, state appellate courts regard probation as a “grace of the state, in lieu of a sentence, with the principal function being the rehabilitation of a defendant and the protection of society.”
Probation is a form of “community control,” which can have a number of requirements, which may include:
- Payment of fees
- Reporting to a probation officer (PO)
- Maintaining employment
- Restitution for any damages caused during the offense
- Avoiding associating with those involved in the offense
- Inability to consume alcohol
- Inability to own a firearm
- Random drug testing
- Perform community service
Violations of Probation
According to Florida Statutes, a violation of probation occurs when a defendant knowingly, willingly and substantially fails to comply with the conditions and terms set out by the court during their sentencing. When an individual has been accused of violating the terms of their probation, they will face a hearing before a judge to determine if there is any proof of a violation by a preponderance of the evidence.
At the hearing, at which there is no jury present, the prosecution is required to prove the defendant both willfully and substantially committed a violation by the “greater weight of the evidence.” Unfortunately for the accused, this burden of proof is very low – as the facts that a violation of probation has occurred merely need to outweigh the facts that one did not occur. Further, there is no statute of limitations when it comes to violations of probation, meaning you may be charged at any time.
Common Penalties for Parole Violations
If an individual has been deemed to have violated the terms of their probation, they likely will face severe penalties, which may include:
- The underlying offense will be entered as a conviction
- The individual could face the maximum penalty for the original offense
- More severe penalties could be added to the original offense
- Time already served may not count towards any new sentence
Contact an Experienced Defense Attorney
Seek legal counsel immediately if you are accused of violating your probation. Make sure you get a trusted and experienced defense attorney who is willing to fight for your rights due to the potentially serious consequences involved. Call The Berman Law Group right now at 1 (800) 375-5555 for your free consultation.