Violation of Probation

a handcuffed man

Instead of spending time in jail or prison, many criminal offenders in Jacksonville are released on probation or community control after pleading guilty or no contest to their criminal offense. Probation is a type of supervision program where the alleged offender is required to satisfy a number of conditions. If the individual fails to complete all of these requirements satisfactorily to the court, they may be charged with violating their probation or VOP.

An individual can also be charged with violating their parole, which is another form of community supervision, but applies to offenders who have been released from jail or prison. This form of supervision also requires the offender to follow certain terms and conditions to their release; if they do not follow them, they could be charged with a violation.

A parole or probation violation can result in serious repercussion, such as revocation of the entire probation or parole, a modification of the terms or new criminal charges. If you have been charged with violating your probation or parole, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville who may be able to have the terms of your probation reinstated or even modified so the conditions are easier to comply with.

Jacksonville Violation of Probation Lawyer

If you have been charged with violating your probation in Jacksonville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, or Fernandina Beach, contact Roelke Law, P.A. Bill Roelke is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend your probation violation allegations. Call Roelke Law today for a free consultation at (904) 354-0333 about your violation of probation.

Jacksonville VOP Information Center

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Probation and Community Control in Florida

Under section 948.001 of the Florida Statutes, probation is defined as a type of community supervision that requires the alleged criminal offender to comply with certain conditions and meet with their probation officer on a regular basis. Probation is available for most types of offenses, but not for capital felony offenses. A failure to follow any of the probation requirements is a material violation and can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

Under section 948.001 of the Florida Statutes, community control is defined as a type of community supervision that requires the alleged criminal offender to be released to a place where they can be supervised by a law enforcement officer. These places can include halfway houses, their homes or any other type of residential facility. Community control also requires the individual to comply with certain conditions and requirements as the court deems necessary. This form of community supervision is also available for alleged felony offenders who would not otherwise be permitted to be released; therefore, the terms of community control are usually very strict.

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Possible Jacksonville Probation Requirements

Possible terms and conditions to probation in Florida are listed in Fla. Stat. § 948.03. Some of these requirements can include, but are not limited to:

  • Payment of fees,
  • Reporting to a probation officer (PO),
  • Allowing the PO to visit home or place of work,
  • Support legal dependants, including payment of child support,
  • Don’t violate any subsequent laws,
  • Payment of restitution for any damages arising from the offense,
  • Don’t leave the city, county or state,
  • Maintain a job,
  • Don’t associate with people involved in criminal activities,
  • Don’t go to bars or other places where alcohol is sold,
  • Don’t carry a weapon or firearm,
  • Don’t use any drugs or prescriptions that aren’t medically prescribed,
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol testing,
  • Complete community service and/or
  • Pay any debts owed to the state.

The terms to an individual’s probation are unique to every case and can vary depending on the type of offense the alleged offender committed, whether they had any previous criminal history and what the court or judge determines is fair to their particular circumstances. If an individual does not follow the conditions to their probation exactly, their probation officer could turn them in for a probation violation.

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VOP Hearings in Florida

If an individual allegedly violates the terms of their probation, they will be permitted a hearing in front of a judge to determine if there actually was proof of a probation violation by a preponderance of the evidence. This burden of proof is on the prosecutor to show the violation occurred more likely than it did not occur. This burden of proof is very low and is typically easy for the prosecution to meet. The facts that a violation occurred simply have to outweigh the facts that a violation did not occur. Therefore, if you have violated the terms of your probation, it is very important to consult with an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer to prepare the best defense strategy possible in your case.

The alleged offender is not permitted to have a jury at their hearing because they were already entitled to a jury trial for the underlying offense resulting in probation. They are permitted to explain the reason for the violation or deny there was a violation at their hearing. However, they can be forced to testify against themselves and other witnesses can also be called to testify against the alleged offender.

Additionally, an individual who has violated the terms of their probation can be prosecuted at any time – there is no statute of limitations to prosecution for probation violations. An individual is also not likely to be eligible for bond while they wait for their VOP hearing. Since many legal protections provided for criminal defendants are generally not allowed for alleged VOP offenders, it is very important to hire a knowledgeable Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.

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Penalties for Probation Violations in Jacksonville

If an individual is determined to have violated the terms of their probation, they could face very severe penalties and repercussions. Some of the most common punishments can include:

  • The time already served on probation will not count towards a new sentence;
  • More severe penalties can be added to the original criminal offense;
  • The individual could face the maximum penalty for the original underlying offense; and/or
  • The underlying offense will be entered as a conviction, instead of a possible dismissal of the charges.

Although these penalties are possible for many VOP offenders, the judge could also decide to modify your probation so it is easier to comply with or reinstate the terms of you probation as it was before the violation. Many factors will affect the judge’s decision, so it is advisable to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville to defend your alleged violation of probation.

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Probation Violation Resources in Jacksonville

Florida Department of Corrections – This Florida law enforcement department seeks to supervise alleged criminal offenders, enforce terms of probation and parole and assist offenders re-enter society after they have been released from probation or parole. The Jacksonville office is located at:

Florida Department of Corrections
592 Ellis Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32254
Phone: (904) 695-4045

Florida Statues – Probation and Community Control – Chapter 948 of the Florida Statutes defines probation and community control, describes possible terms of probation and provides possible penalties for violating the terms of probation.

Florida Association of Community Corrections (FACC) – This Florida organization was established to develop and promote effective county probation programs. The FACC specializes in a wide range of community corrections areas, such as residential programs, substance abuse programs and diversion programs. The Duval County program is located at:

The Salvation Army Correctional Services
328 N. Ocean Street
Jacksonville, Florida 33201
Phone: (904) 301-4800

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Roelke Law, P.A. | Jacksonville Probation Violation Arrest Attorney

Contact Roelke Law today for a consultation about your alleged probation violation throughout Duval County in Florida. Bill Roelke is a knowledgeable Jacksonville defense lawyer who will help you avoid the most serious penalties and consequences to your alleged probation violation. Contact Roelke Law at (904) 354-0333 for a consultation about your VOP charges throughout Duval County and the surrounding counties in Florida, including St. Johns County, Nassau County and Clay County.

Contributor: William Roelke

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