Violation of Probation
Probation is defined under Florida Statute § 948.001(8) as “a form of community supervision requiring specified contacts with parole and probation officers and other terms and conditions as provided in” Florida Statute § 948.03. An alleged offender may be sentenced to a term of probation instead of or in addition to a jail or prison sentence.
Probation is often preferable to incarceration because it allows individuals to maintain some semblance of a normal life, but any kind of violation of the terms of a probationary agreement can lead to an alleged offender facing additional penalties. Alleged probation violations may be technical or substantive, and serious violations can result in people possibly receiving the maximum sentences for their original underlying offenses.Attorney for Violation of Probation Arrests in Broward County, FL
Were you recently arrested for an alleged violation of your probation in Broward County? You will want to contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who represents clients in Margate, Dania Beach, Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and many surrounding areas of South Florida. Call (954) 524-4474 to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Probation Violation in Fort Lauderdale
- What is the difference between a technical and substantive probation violation?
- How can people be punished for violating probation?
- Where can I learn more about violation of probation in Broward County?
Types of Violations of Probation in Florida
The terms of an alleged offender’s probation can vary depending on the specific individual. Florida Statute § 948.03(1) establishes that a court determines the terms and conditions of probation, and the conditions can include—but are not limited to—any of the following:
- Report to the probation and parole supervisors as directed;
- Permit such supervisors to visit him or her at his or her home or elsewhere;
- Work faithfully at suitable employment insofar as may be possible;
- Remain within a specified place;
- Live without violating any law (a conviction in a court of law is not necessary for such a violation of law to constitute a violation of probation, community control, or any other form of court-ordered supervision);
- Make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved party for the damage or loss caused by his or her offense in an amount to be determined by the court;
- Make payment of the debt due and owing to a county or municipal detention facility under Florida Statute § 951.032 for medical care, treatment, hospitalization, or transportation received by the felony probationer while in that detention facility;
- Support his or her legal dependents to the best of his or her ability;
- Make payment of the debt due and owing to the state under Florida Statute § 960.17, subject to modification based on change of circumstances;
- Pay any application fee assessed under Florida Statute § 27.52(1)(b) and attorney’s fees and costs assessed under Florida Statute § 938.29, subject to modification based on change of circumstances;
- Not associate with persons engaged in criminal activities;
- Submit to random testing as directed by the correctional probation officer or the professional staff of the treatment center where he or she is receiving treatment to determine the presence or use of alcohol or controlled substances, or if the offense was a controlled substance violation and the period of probation immediately follows a period of incarceration in the state correction system, the conditions shall include a requirement that the offender submit to random substance abuse testing intermittently throughout the term of supervision, upon the direction of the correctional probation officer as defined in Florida Statute § 943.10(3);
- Be prohibited from possessing, carrying, or owning any firearm or weapon without first procuring the consent of the correctional probation officer;
- Be prohibited from using intoxicants to excess or possessing any drugs or narcotics unless prescribed by a physician. The probationer or community controllee shall not knowingly visit places where intoxicants, drugs, or other dangerous substances are unlawfully sold, dispensed, or used;
- Submit to the drawing of blood or other biological specimens as prescribed in Florida Statute § 943.325 and Florida Statute § 948.014, and reimburse the appropriate agency for the costs of drawing and transmitting the blood or other biological specimens to the Department of Law Enforcement; and/or
- Submit to the taking of a digitized photograph by the department as a part of the offender’s records. This photograph may be displayed on the department’s public website while the offender is under court-ordered supervision. However, the department may not display the photograph on the website if the offender is only on pretrial intervention supervision or if the offender’s identity is exempt from disclosure due to an exemption from the requirements of Florida Statute § 119.07.
An alleged offender typically commits a technical violation of probation when he or she fails to comply with a certain order by a certain date (such as paying a fine) or otherwise deviates from an order (leaves town without notifying his or her probation officer). Any new criminal offense that a person is charged with while on probation is considered a substantive violation of probation.
Broward County Probation Violation Penalties
When an alleged offender is accused of violating his or her probation, that person is entitled to a hearing before the same judge that sentenced him or her to probation. The probation violation hearing operates much differently from a criminal trial.
First, a prosecutor only needs to prove an alleged violation by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning the person “more likely than not” committed a violation) as opposed to proving the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, there is no jury at the hearing, as the judge alone will review the facts and render a decision. No statute of limitations exists for alleged violations of probation, hearsay is admissible, and alleged offenders can be compelled to testify against themselves.
Generally, a judge will have one of three options at the conclusion of a probation violation hearing:
- Reinstate Probation — The judge can order that an alleged offender continue to fulfill the terms of the probation originally imposed without adding any new sanctions;
- Modify Probation — The judge can change the original conditions or add new conditions to an alleged offender’s probation, such as extending the term of probation, requiring additional community service, or ordering more drug or alcohol testing; or
- Revoke Probation — The judge can cancel an alleged offender’s probation and impose the entire jail or prison sentence that was possible for the original underlying criminal offense.
Florida Resources for Violation of Probation
Probation Division | Broward Sheriff's Office — The Broward Sheriff's Office monitors misdemeanor offenders sentenced in county court to ensure compliance with conditions imposed by the court, provides assistance to offenders through referrals to social service agencies, and administers a specialized program of intensive supervision for misdemeanor domestic violence offenders. The Probation Division also supervises the Misdemeanor Diversion Program for "first- time offenders" and also provides intake processing, monitoring, and supervision of all misdemeanor offenders placed on probation or community service by the County Court. On this section of the Sheriff's Office website, you can learn more about the Probation Division and some of its programs and services.
540 S.E. 3rd Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Florida Department of Corrections | Fort Lauderdale Circuit Office — The Florida Department of Corrections supervises offenders through 130 Community Corrections' probation offices throughout Florida. The 17th judicial circuit in Region 4 encompasses all of Broward County. Visit this website to find general information about the office and learn more about the eight different office locations and community based sanctions and programs.
Fort Lauderdale Circuit Office
201 West Broward Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
If you were arrested anywhere in South Florida for an alleged probation violation, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm defends individuals all over Broward County, including Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Davie, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, and several other nearby communities.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is also a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.