Treasure Coast Probation Violation Attorney
Probation is a form of punishment that may be administered against those convicted of criminal offenses in Florida. Those who are sentenced to probation are allowed the opportunity to live in the community as opposed to a jail or prison facility. In exchange for that opportunity, the probationer agrees to abide by a number of terms and conditions. Those terms are defined by the sentencing judge and compliance with those terms is supervised by parole and probation officers.
When a probation officer believes that a probationer has violated the terms of their supervision, they submit an affidavit to the court explaining the circumstances. Once the affidavit is submitted, the probationer can be rearrested and face the same amount of jail time that they would have faced at sentencing had they not been placed on probation. Often, those arrested for violating probation in Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin Counties are not permitted the opportunity to post a monetary bail while pending trial. This means that they can be forced to remain in custody until the violation is resolved via dismissal, plea, or trial.
In order to successfully prove a violation of probation, a prosecutor must show that a probationer willfully and substantially violated the terms of their probation in a material way. However, the burden of proof the prosecutor must meet is lower than it otherwise would be in a criminal case. A violation of probation can be proved “by the greater weight of the evidence” as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Also, those charged with probation violations do not have the option of selecting a jury trial. Violation of probation hearings are heard before a judge alone.
Those facing violations of probation should seek the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney. Not all violations qualify as “willful,” “substantial,” or “material.” Florida appellate courts are constantly defining and redefining the circumstances which may be considered proof of a violation. Contact us to today to discuss the facts of your case.