Dieuson Octave is the 19-year-old Pompano Beach native better known by his stage name Kodak Black, the rapper who gained popularity after Drake posted an Instagram video of himself dancing to Kodak’s song “Skrt.” The Palm Beach Post reported on March 1 that Octave was being held in the Broward County Jail without bond after a court ruled that he violated the terms of his probation.
The hip hop magazine XXL reported that Octave violated probation for charges stemming from a May arrest that include strong arm robbery, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a delinquent and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement. He was sentenced to five years of probation for those charges, according to XXL.
XXL reported that the warrant for Octave’s arrest showed that he violated probation by “failing to remain confined to his approved residence except for one half hour before and after approved employment, public service work, or any other special activities approved by the officer […] on various times and dates, as evidenced from the pictures on video showing the offender at various places that were not approved.” According to the Post, the court provided photographic evidence of Octave at Club Lexx in Miami on February 1 and attending an Adrien Broner boxing match in Cincinnati on February 18.
Octave’s probation officer discharged him from the program after he failed to successfully complete an Anger Management Program on February 14. Atlantic Records told XXL in a statement that the remainder of Kodak Black’s Back and Better Tour was postponed.
When Octave pleaded no contest in August 2016 to the multiple charges as the result of a plea deal in exchange for one year of house arrest and five years of probation, the Sun Sentinel reported that Judge Lisa Porter “reminded Octave that if he screws up again and violates the law, he could be facing a maximum of 55 years in prison.” The Sun Sentinel said the judge “compared that possibility to an ever-present landmine, and that if he takes a wrong step, it could blow everything up and put him back behind bars.”
Probation Violation Defense Lawyer in Broward County, FL
An alleged offender can commit either a technical violation or a substantive violation of probation in Florida. A technical violation involves a failure to satisfy some sort of requirement or condition of the probation agreement, and any new arrest is a substantive violation.
The allegations in Octave’s case are apparent technical violations, but the judge’s stark reminder underscores the severity of the prison sentence he could be facing. When an alleged offender violates the terms of his or her probation in Broward County, he or she not only faces the maximum sentences allowable for the original underlying offense but he or she also has to defend him or herself against probation violation allegations under much different circumstances.
Because many people have forfeited their right to a jury trial by agreeing to probation, the original judge who sentenced an alleged offender to probation will hear all of the facts of the alleged probation violation and render a decision. Alleged offenders have no right to bond while awaiting these hearings, and they can be forced to testify against themselves.
Perhaps most importantly, a prosecutor only needs to prove a willful and substantial violation of probation by a preponderance of the evidence instead of the much higher standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. A preponderance of the evidence means more than half of the evidence indicates a certain result or the alleged offender “more likely than not” committed the alleged offense. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof and requires a prosecutor to prove that the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence is that the alleged offender committed the alleged offense.
Any person who is accused of violating his or her probation in the Fort Lauderdale area will want to make sure that he or she retains legal counsel. Broward County criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman aggressively defends clients all over South Florida accused of violating the terms of their probation and helps them achieve the most favorable outcomes to their cases.