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Violation of Probation

What is a Violation of Probation?

A violation of probation (VOP) is a very serious offense and can result in your probation being revoked and a jail sentence being imposed. Probation requires a person to maintain regular contact with a probation officer and abide by certain conditions imposed by the court. As a result, there are several ways in which a Violation of Probation can occur. In order to be found guilty of a violation of probation, the prosecutor must prove that the person substantially and materially violated the terms or conditions of his or her probation.

There are no jury trials involved with violations of probation and the burden of proof is significantly reduced, i.e., it is much easier for the prosecutor to prove. If convicted, the person may be sentenced up to the maximum of his or her initial sentence less any credit for time served. By way of example, lets say that “John” enters a plea of guilty to a first degree misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail) and placed on probation. If John is found guilty of violating his probation, the judge could sentence him up to 364 days in jail less any credit for time served.

Judges do have wide discretion in violation of probation cases, and sometimes this can be helpful, especially when dealing with an unreasonable probation officer or prosecutor.

Types of Violations

One common reason for a Violation of Probation is what is called a New Law Violation, meaning a new crime was committed while already on probation. It is not enough that a person has been arrested, there must be direct evidence linking the defendant to the crime. If you are on probation and charged with Violation of Probation based on a new law violation I can help you with both cases. It is important to have an experienced attorney represent you on both cases, many times the cases can be resolved together resulting in a better outcome than trying to resolve the cases separately.

Another common reason for a Violation of Probation is a positive drug test. It is often a condition of probation that the defendant is to submit to random drug testing at the request of his or her probation officer. It is not always enough for the probation officer to simply say that a drug test was positive, there are other standards that must be met. If you have been charged with a Violation of Probation based a Positive Drug I can help you.

Some other common violations include, failure to complete court ordered programs such as, drug treatment programs, failure to meet court ordered financial obligations and failure to report to your probation officer. It is important to remember that to be found guilty of a violation of probation it must be shown that the act was willful and substantial.

If you or a friend or family member were arrested for a violation of probation, regardless of whether the initial crime allegedly occurred in Melbourne, Viera, Palm Bay, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Titusville, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Palm Shores, Grant-Valkaria, Mims, or anywhere else in Brevard County, Florida. Contact me to immediately schedule your free consultation.

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