Felony Violation of Probation in Palm Beach County, FL

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represent clients charged with violation of probation in Palm Beach County, FL. If you agree to the alternative sanctions program after a felony violation of probation then you can avoid that formal VOP proceeding in Circuit Court.

Be careful to complete the terms of probation and any additional conditions after you enter this program so that you can avoid another probation violation on the felony case. If you need an attorney for a formal proceeding in Circuit Court, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. who is focused on felony VOP probation revocation hearings in West Palm Beach, FL.

Call (561) 283-3259 today for a free consultation. 


Administrative Order for Felony Probation Violations

The Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach County, Florida, has enacted several administrative orders that act as local rules regarding criminal procedures to be used in those courtrooms. Administrative Order Number 4.41 l~ 5/13 applies to the alternative sanctions program for felony offenders. 

Pursuant to the authority conferred by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, the Chief Judge ordered the Alternative Sanctions Program is hereby created in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, for felony case types.

If your probation officer in Palm Beach County said that you violated probation with a technical violation and that you qualify for the alternative sanctions probation, then the person on probation will be informed of the violation.

The probation will explain that instead of going through the process for a formal violation of probation hearing, the probation may participate in the Alternative Sanctions Program for administrative disposition of the violation. No offender is required to participate in the Alternative Sanctions Program and may opt for a formal violation of probation proceeding in Circuit Court.

If the offender admits the violation, agrees to accept the administrative sanction(s)recommended by the probation officer, and agrees to waive his/her formal violation hearing to modify his/her sentence, the probation of?cer will prepare an“Alternative Sanctions Program Technical Violation Notification”, which will provide details of the circumstances of the technical violation that occurred and the probation officer’s recommended sanction, based on the sanctions listed in the approved matrix.

If the offender agrees to participate in the Alternative SanctionsProgram, he/she will sign the second section of this form titled “Alternative Sanctions Program Waiver of Formal VOP/VOCC Hearing, Admission of Violation, and Acceptance of Sanctions”, which will be submitted to the Court once the probation officer signs and dates the form.

The judge shall review the “Alternative Sanctions Program Technical Violation Notification” and waiver form submitted and, if the judge agrees that the technical violation should be addressed via the Alternative Sanctions Program and agrees with the recommended sanction, the judge will sign the “Order - AlternativeSanctions Program”.

If the judge does not agree with the particular sanction recommended by the of?cer or does not agree that the technical violation should be addressed via the Alternative Sanctions Program, the judge shall reflect further instructions on the order.

The Clerk of Court shall collaborate with the Administrative Office of the Court to create a unique docket code to track each Alternative Sanctions Order entered for statistical reporting purposes.

Upon court approval, the probation officer will instruct the offender on the sanction imposed by the court and instruct the offender to take actions necessary to ensure the sanction is executed immediately. Failure to complete the imposed sanction as instructed will result in a violation report, affidavit and warrant being submitted to the court citing the original condition that was violated. 


Purpose of the Alternative Sanctions Program for Felony VOP

The courts in Palm Beach County have recognized that there are a substantial number of technical violations of probation that do not involve a new arrest or other serious violation. Recidivism may be reduced by utilizing collaborative efforts among the courts, probation and law enforcement to hold the offender accountable and apply swift and certain sanctions for technical violations of probation. 

The benefits of creating smart alternatives to incarcerating felony offenders with technical probation violations including: 

  • reducing the court docket of probation hearings;
  • reducing the workload of prosecutors and defense attorneys involved with many technical violation hearings; 
  • reducing law enforcement resources required to serve violation warrants for certain technical violations; 
  • reducing jail population for offenders pending violation hearings; and 
  • offering the offender an alternative to a violation hearing in court, allowing the offender to remain engaged in employment, school, treatment, etc. 

These smart alternatives to incarcerating a person accused of a felony violation of probation also help the person take immediate responsibility for his or her actions and consequences of those actions.


Eligibility for the Felony Violation of Program Program 

To be eligible for the program, offenders must have been placed on probation under the supervision of the Department of Corrections by a judge in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, have stable community ties, and have a stable residence in Florida. Offenders who are eligible for the program include probation offenders and drug offenders. 

The program only applies to offenders charged with a non-violent third-degree felony or less, excluding victim crimes, and who have committed certain technical violations addressed in the Alternative Sanctions Program Violation] Sanction Matrix included in section three (3) of this order. 

The threat an offender poses to public safety is the most important factor in determining eligibility. Offenders with a lengthy (three or more prior felony convictions) or violent criminal history, including sex offenders, are not eligible to be in the program. 

Offenders who have new law violations, are absconders, or have violated a “no contact” condition of supervision are not eligible for the program. No offender who has three or more previous violations is eligible for the program. 

Qualifying Technical Violations and Approved Sanctions

The following matrix lists the specific technical violations that may be addressed through the Alternative Sanctions Program process for offenders who were sentenced in Palm Beach County, Florida. Each technical violation includes a list of sanctions determined and approved by the court for the probation of?cer to select from when reporting these technical violations, based on the individual offender’s circumstances at the time of the violation. 


Sanction Matrix for Violations of Probation Sanctions 

Condition (1) Violations - failure to report as instructed

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving the “failure to report as instructed” comes with the following approved sanctions:

  1. Weekly call in for 6 weeks (more than @ days);
  2. Daily call in for 30 days; and
  3. Report 2x a month for 60 days

Condition (3) Violations - failed to report changes

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving the “failed to report changes” in the following approved sanctions: 

  1. Weekly call in for 6 weeks residence or employment without first; 
  2. Twice a month reporting for 3 months procuring the of?cer’s consent (or notifying); and 
  3. Weekly reporting for 6 weeks immediately if evicted from residence or laid off from job.

Condition (6) Violations - found to be associating

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer was “found to be associating” with a prohibited person include:

  1. Curfew from 8 pm to 6 am for 90 days person(s) engaged in criminal activity (can be modi?ed by probation of?cer for treatment/work purposes);
  2. Weekly call in for 6 weeks; and
  3. 25 hours public service work

Condition (7) Violations - positive drug test

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer has a “positive drug test” include: 

  1. Drug evaluation and successfully prescribed drugs (first occurrence) complete treatment determined necessary; 
  2. Increase level of treatment program up to and including residential; 
  3. Curfew from 8 pm to 6 am for 90 days (can be modi?ed by probation officer for treatment / work purposes); and
  4. Weekly reporting for 6 weeks.

Condition (7) Violations -positive drug test

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer had a positive drug test include:

  1. Drug evaluation and successfully prescribed drugs (second occurrence) complete treatment determined necessary; 
  2. Increase level of treatment program up to and including residential; and 
  3. Weekly reporting for 6 weeks.

Condition (8) Violations - failed to maintain employment

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer “failed to maintain employment” include: 

  1. Weekly reporting with job search logs until employed;
  2. Daily reporting with job search logs until employed; 
  3. Curfew from 8 pm to 6 am for 90 days (can be modi?ed by probation of?cer for treatment/work purposes).

Condition (10) Violations - failed to pay monetary obligations

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer failed to pay monetary obligations (excludes restitution) if unemployed include a requirement that the probation begins a daily job search. If the probationer is employed, then the approved sanctions include: 

  1. bi-weekly payments payable by money order;
  2. curfew from 8 pm to 6 am for 90 days (can be modi?ed by probation of?cer for treatment/work purposes)
  3. weekly call in until monetary obligations current
  4. extend probation to auto term upon completion of all conditions. 

Condition (11) Violations -failed to submit to random testing

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer “failed to submit to random testing” as directed will result in the following: 

  1. Weekly reporting as instructed by Probation Officer; 
  2. Reporting 3 times a week as instructed by the Probation Officer;
  3. Curfew from 8 pm to 6 am for 90 days (can be modi?ed by probation of?cer for treatment/work purposes)

Special Condition (1) Violations

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer failed to attend treatment evaluation or treatment session as scheduled include: 

  1. Curfew from 8 pm to 6 am until evaluation;
  2. Completed Weekly reporting until evaluation completed;
  3. Daily call in until evaluation completed 

Special Condition (8) Violations - failed to complete community service hours

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer failed to complete community service hours as instructed include:

  1. Daily reporting until community hours completed if unemployed; and
  2. Weekly reporting until community hours completed if employed.

Special Condition (9) Violations - failed to remain at residence during curfew period

The approved sanctions for a VOP involving an allegation that the probationer “failed to remain at residence during curfew period” include: 

  1. Weekly reporting for 3 months
  2. Affidavit will be ?led with this sanction to toll the supervision; and
  3. Once the offender completes the supervision, the Affidavit will be dismissed.
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