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Violation of Probation

Violations of probation (VOP’s) are different than the average criminal case. VOP’s can be difficult and confusing due to their unique nature. Good representation from a Ft Lauderdale probation violation lawyer is essential to safeguard a probation violator’s rights and freedoms.

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A violation of probation occurs when a person that has been previously placed on probation has violated the terms of that probation. There are generally two types of violations that can occur. The first is a new law allegation. This is when the person who is on probation is alleged to commit a new crime. The second type of violation is a technical violation. This is when the person who is on probation violates one of the rules of probation. Some examples of technical violations are: testing positive for drugs, failing to notify probation of an address change, failure to complete community service, failing to pay court costs and etc.

In cases where the probationer is alleged to have committed a new law violation, that defendant essentially has two cases. The first case is the new charge and the second case is the violation of probation where the new charge is an allegation.

VOP cases are unique in that they are not new criminal offenses, but rather a continuation of the original criminal case. At sentencing on a violation of probation the court can sentence the probationer to any sentence that was legal at the time of the original sentencing. Additionally, a defendant charged with a violation of probation is not entitled to a jury trial. The evidence is heard and decided upon by the judge. Moreover, the standard of proof is much lower for the state (preponderance of the evidence) in proving the defendant in violation of the terms of their probation.

A VOP case is set in motion when a probation officer goes to the sentencing judge and presents a warrant for the probationer’s arrest alleging a violation of the terms of the probation (either a new law allegation or a technical violation). When the warrant is signed, the issuing judge will set a bond on the warrant. Unfortunately, often times, the judges indicate that there is to be no bond on the warrant. In those cases, the defendant will be held and not allowed to bond unless the issuing judge grants a bond.

It is important to seek an experienced Fort Lauderdale violation of probation attorney, like David J Sobel, following any allegation of a violation of the terms of your probation as soon as possible so that your parole violation defense attorney in Ft Lauderdale FL has the time necessary to fully investigate your case and examine all possible defenses.