Probation is oftentimes viewed by the Courts and prosecutors as a privilege. When you were placed on probation in lieu of what could have been jail or prison, the general sentiment is that you were shown some degree of mercy. Many people on probation don’t consider all of the terms and conditions as being very merciful, and sometime have difficulty adhering to these terms and conditions.
In Florida, when failing to adhere to the terms and conditions of probation becomes willful and substantial, you may be in violation of the probation (VOP). And of course, those who showed mercy may be offended by the lack of appreciation as demonstrated by the violation. At least that’s how it may be viewed.
VOPs usually begin when the probation officer discovers some failure to adhere to the terms and conditions of the probation. Perhaps there was a failed urine screen or some noncompliance with a monthly community service hours requirement. The probation officer may then send an affidavit to the Court in which he alleges the VOP. The Court, may in turn, issue an arrest warrant.
Once arrested, you’ll end up before a Judge for an arraignment (sometimes called an advisement). At this hearing, the Judge will advise you of the violation, and you’ll get an opportunity to let the Judge know if you are guilty or not guilty of the violation. Most attorneys will advance a not guilty plea (or a denial) pending an investigation into the allegations. In almost all cases in Charlotte County, you are likely to be held without bond on a VOP.
At the VOP arraignment, the case will be scheduled for a violation hearing. Two things will likely happen during the time period between the arraignment and the hearing. The case will be resolved by way of a plea, or the decision will be made to litigate the issues at the hearing.
If you were found guilty of a violation at a hearing, or if you took a plea deal, you will be effectively resentenced on the underlying charge that put you on probation in the first place. The judge may continue your probation, extend your probation, modify it, or revoke it and resentence you to jail or prison.
If you, or a loved one, has been arrested for violating probation in Charlotte County, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at the Law Firm of O’Halloran and Foley have successfully handled hundreds of probation violation cases and as such, they have the experience you need to handle your case. Contact O’Halloran and Foley of Charlotte County for a free initial consultation.