Eric J. Dirga, P.A.

A Florida Lawyer

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Criminal Defense Of Violations Of Probation

Central Florida Violations of Probation and Community Control

Willful Violations of Conditions Imposed at Sentencing - Defenses

Last Updated: June 19, 2015

A Violation of Probation [VOP] or a Violation of Community Control [VOCC] are serious situations. A person facing a violation of probation faces going to jail or prison up to the maximum he or she could have been originally sentenced to for the offense charged.


Violation Must Be Willful - Not by Mistake

The State must establish that you willfully violated your probation or community control. It cannot be due to mistake or being unaware of the consequences of an act. Although the standard of proof necessary to establish a violation is lower than at the trial level, technical violations do have the defense of I didn't know. See Garity v. State, 970 So.2d 500 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007).


Consequences of Violations of Probation/Community Control

Once the prosecutor has convinced the court that you willfully violated your probation or community control, then the court can sentence you up to the maximum time the law allows. Violating any conditions set at sentencing can result in you being incarcerated, including these:

  • Not filing a monthly report (absconding).
  • Moving from residence without notifying your supervision officer.
  • Use of intoxicants in excess (as evidenced by a positive or dirty urinalysis).
  • Committing some illegal behavior (as evidenced by a dirty urinalysis or new arrest).
  • Committing a new criminal act (getting arrested).

Often times there are defenses to violations of probation. The first thing you must remember is to never admit to a violation. Admitting that you have violated your probation usually eliminates most defenses you may have had. Acknowledging that you did something that, at the time, you did not know would violate you may be cured.


Common Mistakes While On Probation

The most important thing to remember is, even if you believe you will be violated, always report to your probation officer as scheduled. Being afraid that you will be violated is not a defense to not reporting. If you have been arrested you must truthfully fill out your monthly report. Failing to report and/or lying on your monthly report are sure ways to being found in violation of your probation.

The biggest mistake that you can make on probation or community control is failing to report to your probation officer or community control officer each month. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to report to your probation or community control officer and there is a corresponding lack of defense. Fear of being arrested is no excuse either.

Falsifying a monthly report is also a quick way to be found in violation and sentenced to incarceration. If you falsify a monthly report it will be only a matter of time before you are violated. Advice: Always fill out monthly reports truthfully. For more information on probation go to the question and answers page.


Legal Fee For Representation

Before there is a discussion of legal fees there must be a consultation. This is where we will find out some pertinent facts about the case. After discussing the case you can decide if you want this office representing you. Understand that we cannot predict what the ultimate outcome will be - all we can do is explain the possible outcomes based on the facts and our experience. The legal fee for this office to represent you for a misdemeanor VOP is $1,500. For a felony VOP or VOCC the fee starts at $2,500. These fees must be paid in full in advance before this office will enter your case. Contact us to get started.

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