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Violations of Probation and Violations of Community Control

Getting arrested for a Violation of Probation, also known as a “VOP”, or a Violation of Community Control, can have serious consequences. If you, or someone you know, is facing a Violation of Probation, contact an attorney as soon as possible. To get an idea of what you can expect, please read through this article thoroughly. For further explanation, and a focus on your situation, contact Thompson Law, P.A. to schedule a free consultation in our office in DeLand or Daytona Beach to speak with Attorney Matt Thompson at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), or toll free at (877) 934-4LAW (4529), or text Attorney Thompson directly to his cell phone at (386) 337-2219, open 24 hours.

What is a Violation of Probation or Violation of Community Control?

An alternative to going to prison or jail in a criminal case is to go on probation or community control. Probation is a community-based supervision where a person is required to perform certain duties, remain free from any violation of the law, and check in with a probation officer on a frequent basis. Community Control is another name for “House Arrest” and the conditions of Community Control are more stringent and difficult.

A person can violate their probation in many different ways, such as getting arrested for a new crime, or failing to comply with the requirement of their probation. Pursuant to Florida Statute 948.06, if a person violates their probation in a “material aspect”, they can be arrested immediately, or have a warrant issued for their arrest.

Can a Person Bond Out of Jail After They are Arrested for Violating Their Probation?

Unlike standard arrests, a person who is in violation is not entitled to a bond and can be held in jail until the violation is resolved. This can take weeks and will create major problems for most people, disrupts their family, and hinders their ability to hire an attorney. In Volusia County, if a person is arrested for a Violation of Probation, their arraignment is usually scheduled within 10-15 days. At the arraignment, if the person does not admit to violating their probation, a hearing is set in another 14 to 30 days.

This is why it is important to schedule a consultation with an experienced and aggressive attorney in a situation like this. Attorney Thompson understands that time is of the essence in a Violation of Probation, and Attorney Thompson will travel to the jail to meet with clients, file the necessary motions, and take the necessary action to resolve the case quickly, or request a bond from the court.

What is a Violation of Probation Hearing?

A Violation of Probation hearing is like a mini-trial. There are three major differences between an actual trial and a VOP Hearing.

1) The burden of proof is lower in a Violation of Probation Hearing. In a regular trial, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” one of the hardest burdens to prove in the practice of law. In a Violation of Probation Hearing, the burden of proof is only “preponderance of the evidence.” This makes it easier for the State to prove a Violation of Probation.

2) There is no “right to remain silent” in a Violation of Probation hearing. If your violation does not involve a new violation of the law, the State can call you as a witness against yourself. In situations where a person absconds from probation, or fails a urinalysis test, they can be called to the witness stand and questioned by the prosecutor.

3) There is no “right to a jury trial.” In Violation of Probation Hearing, the person who decides your fate is the judge.

Sentencing for a Violation of Probation

The Court has many options when a person is found in violation of probation. The court is not bound to your original plea deal. If you pled to 2 years probation on a third degree felony, the Court revoke your probation and can sentence you up to 5 years of prison.

The Court can modify your probation, add new terms, or require that you spend some time on Community Control (also known as “House Arrest”).

If the Court finds you in violation of your probation, the Court must “adjudicate you guilty”, meaning that you will be found guilty of your underlying charge. So if you, or your lawyer, negotiated a “withhold of adjudication” when you originally entered a plea, that sentence is essentially held null and void and you can find yourself a convicted felon at the end of the day.

If the Court finds that you did not violate your probation, and your Violation of Probation is dismissed, then you go back to probation to your original term and conditions. The time you spent waiting for the violation of probation to be resolved is “tolled”, meaning that you do not get credit for any of that time toward your original sentence.

Being in violation of your probation means that the cards are stacked against you. You need to act quickly, because if you do not talk to your own attorney before you get arrested, you may not get that chance once they put you in handcuffs and you may have to get a court appointed lawyer. Before any of this happens, schedule a free consultation with Attorney Thompson in our offices in DeLand or Daytona Beach. To schedule that consultation, call Attorney Thompson directly at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), toll free at (877) 934-4LAW (4529), or text Attorney Thompson on his cell phone at (386) 337-2219.

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