Most don’t understand the amount of special terms and conditions are involved when you agree to probation to resolve a criminal charge. They can include weekly visits with your probation officer, paying child support or other court-imposed fees, submit to random drug testing and any other possible condition imposed on you by a judge. Violating these can lead to serious consequences, which can include spending time in jail or prison.
When the probation is for a felony offense the procedures for violations are very different. A violator of a felony probation must be brought to the court in the county or circuit in which they were arrested. If they committed certain felony crimes or is under supervision for a specific felony crime, then they won’t be granted bail. That means as a person under felony probation you will have to remain in custody until your hearing.
If you or someone you know has been accused of violating their felony probation, then it’s within your best interest to contact legal representation.
West Palm Beach Attorney for Felony Violation of Probation in FL
Accusations of a violation of probation could send you back to jail or prison. If not that, then the judge may add conditions or even lengthen your probation consequently for violating your probation. Avoid these penalties by gaining experienced legal representation today with Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have decades of collective criminal defense representation experience. With our skills, resources and knowledge our lawyers can do whatever needed to win your case. Call us at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation today. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Jupiter.
Overview of Felony Violation of Probation in FL
- What Does it Take to Violate Probation in FL?
- What is the Difference Between a Technical and Substantive Violation?
- What Makes a Felony Violation of Probation Different in FL?
- Additional Resources
What Does it Take to Violate Probation in Florida?
Probation is a type of community supervision where the offender must complete certain terms and conditions and if they do so their charges will be dismissed. It’s an opportunity for offenders to rehabilitate themselves while avoiding incarceration for their crimes. If the court grants you probation, then you will be given a list of conditions you are obligated to follow.
Violating these conditions will lead to serious consequences. If your probation is for a felony, you could be denied bail and must wait in jail until your violation hearing. The general terms of probation are set by the Department of Corrections and the special conditions are imposed by the court pursuant to a negotiated plea or plea to the court.
Under Florida Statutes Section 948.03, it states some possible terms and conditions a person who is under community supervision may be obligated to follow. These include:
- Pay child support;
- Not carry a firearm;
- Reporting regularly to a probation officer (hereinafter “PO”);
- Submitting to visits, sometimes random, by the PO;
- Submitting to random drug and alcohol tests;
- Do community service;
- Staying in Palm Beach County (or home county) or Florida;
- Maintaining employment;
- Pay restitution and other court-imposed fees;
- Not associate with criminals; and
- Not commit any new crimes.
What is the Difference Between a Technical and Substantive Violation of Probation?
Under Florida law there are two different types of violations of probation known as “substantive” and “technical.” The most common violation is a “technical” violation where the offender is accused of not following the conditions associated with their probation. Normally, a technical violation is simply a mistake or misunderstanding between P.O. and offender. However, the court still treats technical violations very seriously and may send you back to jail or prison if the court finds you violated their order.
Some examples of a technical violation of probation include:
- Failing to report to your probation officer;
- Moving without permission from the court;
- Absconding from the jurisdiction
- Failing to complete a court ordered course as a required term;
- Failing to pay court costs;
- Failing to undergo a drug test or testing positive for a controlled substance; or
- Not appearing at your mandated court dates
Substantive violations are where the offender is accused of committing another criminal act. Even minor crimes such as vandalism or public intoxication could send you back to jail or prison. Although substantive violation may seem more severe, the court has severe consequences for both violations. In either scenario you could have your probation revoked, modified or be required to complete the rest of your sentence in jail.
What Makes a Felony Violation of Probation Different in Florida?
The state of Florida grants probation to both misdemeanor and felony offenders. Both must complete similar terms and conditions, but the court treats violations by people under felony probation much more seriously. Firstly, it’s important to note that you can be arrested without a warrant if your PO has reasonable grounds to believe you violated your probation.
If you’re under a felony probation, you will be brought to the court that granted you probation or community control. If the probation officer or offender doesn’t admit to the violation, then you may be released with or without bail to await your further hearing. However, if you are under probation for any of the following, then the court must make a finding you are not a danger to the public to be released from custody with or without bail.
- Lewd or lascivious battery;
- Lewd or lascivious molestation;
- Lewd or lascivious conduct;
- Sexual performance by a child;
- Selling or buying of minors;
- Is a registered sexual predator or offender;
- Meet the criteria of The Florida Sexual Predators Act;
- Failed to register as a sexual predator or offender; or
- Failed to notify FDLE about address change
To determine whether you are a danger to the public, the court must review the following factors to see if they can release you with or without bail:
- Nature and circumstances of the violation and any new charges;
- Your past and present conduct;
- Your family ties within the community;
- Likelihood you will engage in criminal activity again;
- The weight of the evidence against the offender;
- The length of residence within the community;
- Employment history; and
- Mental condition
You cannot receive bail for violating your felony probation (unless it’s a technical violation for failure to pay fees) if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You’re a violent felony offender of special concern;
- You’re a person who is on felony probation or community control for an offense committed on or after the effective date of this act and who is arrested for a qualifying offense; or
- You have been previously found by the court to be a habitual felony offender, a three-time violent felony offender or a sexual predator who was arrested for committed a qualifying offense
A violent offender of special concern is any person who is under felony probation and committed a qualifying offense. Crimes that are considered a qualifying offense include:
- Kidnapping or false imprisonment of a child under 13;
- Murder or attempted murder;
- Aggravated or attempted aggravated battery;
- Sexual battery or attempted sexual battery;
- Lewd or lascivious battery or attempted lewd or lascivious battery;
- Robbery or attempted robbery;
- Home invasion or attempted home invasion;
- Lewd or lascivious offenses on or in the presence of an elderly or disabled person;
- Sexual performance by a child or attempted;
- Possessing or transmitting child pornography;
- Selling or buying of minors;
- Poisoning food or water;
- Abuse of a dead human body;
- Burglary offense or attempted burglary offense;
- Arson or attempted arson;
- Aggravated assault;
- Aggravated stalking;
- Aircraft piracy;
- Unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
- Treason; or
- Any offender under another jurisdiction that would be an offense listed in this paragraph if committed in Florida
Probation Services – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to learn more about their probation services. Access the site to find their map of community corrections regions and circuits, contact information and the purpose of correctional probation officers in the judicial system.
Florida Laws for Probation Violations – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about their laws for felony probation violations. Access the site to learn what is considered a violation, the procedures for bail for a probation violation and more.
Defense Lawyer for Felony VOP in Palm Beach County, FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with felony violation of probation, it’s important you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. You could have your probation revoked, modified or even be sent back to jail or prison for the crime. Fight back by gaining excellent legal representation with Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our lawyers have years of experience defending people during probationary hearing and contesting against their violation.
You can get in contact with us by calling (561) 557-8686. Our criminal defense attorneys will sit with you, hear your case and set up a defense structure to keep you out of jail or prison. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington and Boca Raton.