Violations of probation and violations of community control result in a violation of probation warrant being issued by the circuit or county court judge who handled your case. In Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, a probation officer who is handling the case will submit a request for a violation of probation warrant to the judge, here in Fort Lauderdale, or in West Palm Beach. The judge will review the warrant request for legal sufficiency: the standard is the violation must rise to be considered both a substantial and willful violation of probation. The most common violation of probation warrants we see here in South Florida are failure to report, leaving Florida without permission, relocating to another state and not transferring probation supervision, and failure to pay full restitution or cost of supervision. Once the violation of probation warrant is issued it is available to law enforcement throughout the United States. Most often probation violations arising from Pompano Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale and other arrests in Broward County result in the person being detained and held for extradition. If you were placed in probation or community control in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach and may be in violation the first thing to do is contact a South Florida criminal defense lawyer and have them contact the probation officer and inquire as to the existence of a violation of probation warrant. My office gets 5 to 8 calls per week and I am very pleased to help you sort out your situation and discuss your legal options. The call is a ‘free consultation’ and I, and most South Florida criminal defense lawyers, are willing to assist you in finding out about your current status. Call and start the process of dealing with an open probation or community control warrant.
Probation violations are the area of law where many people get confused and confounded. If you understand the steps by which a violation becomes an arrestable offense, you can deal with them. The first question is: Were you properly informed of the terms and conditions of your probation: It must be in the sentencing order, or the statute, spoken to you in open court by the judge, or read to you by the probation officer. Step one is the State has to prove up the probation terms were communicated by one of the above methods. Probation officers cannot invent terms and conditions. Step two: Once you're on probation the probation officer as to monitor and supervise. If the probation officer believes you have violated any condition of probation he cannot arrest you unless the violation occurs in front of him or the act itself is an arrestable offense. The probation officer writes up a violation of probation report and sends it to your judge. The judge reads it. Only if the judge believes, based on the probation officers report, that the violation is both WILLFUL and SUBSTANTIAL will he/she sign the document. When the judge signs the document it becomes an arrest warrant. Once the violation report, reviewed by the judge, becomes a warrant then you will be brought before the judge. The Judge must determine after a hearing whether the facts alleged in the report are true. At this point you need your South Florida Criminal defense attorney to either get you out of jail before the hearings, or represent you at the final evidentiary hearing.
Attacking probation violation warrants starts with the basics: 1. was the alleged violation a condition of the probation sentence? 2. Did the violation occur during the probationary period? 3. Was the warrant obtained during or after probation ended? If you have an outstanding violation of probation from a Florida criminal court, contact a South Florida criminal defense attorney and let him/her do the basics? 1 – 2 – 3. What? When? Timely?
Violation of Probation warrants are often filed wrongly or too late to be lawful. A legal attack on a violation of probation warrant requires some digging. First get a copy of your final disposition: did the Judge include the condition in the probationary term? If it is a violation of probation based on the statute, check the statute in effect: statutes are amended by the legislature and conditions are added and deleted. Verify that the violation of probation warrant was submitted during the term of the probation. If the violation warrant was sent to the judge after the expiration of the probationary term then it is not a legal warrant and is subject to attack and dismissal. Don’t just submit to a violation of probation warrant without a competent and diligent Florida criminal attorney doing due diligence. A sloppy lawyer will just assume the warrant is correct, but that is not always the case. For more information contact my office for a no-cost consultation. If you have an open violation of probation warrant from Broward (Fort Lauderdale), Miami (Miami Dade County Florida) or Palm Beach, contact a Florida criminal lawyer and assert your right to a legal defense.
An outstanding warrant means a trip to Fort Lauderdale, usually by jitney bus in leg irons. It can take between four and ten days, and the hotels on the way prepare you for a stay at the Fort Lauderdale jail. Not so nice. A warrant, (also called a capias if issued by a judge from the bench), is a pick-up order. All States share the outstanding warrants lists and will hold you until the State that wants you either agrees to pay the transportation (issues a “governors warrant”) or says pass, in which case you are released. If you have been arrested in Fort Lauderdale or Miami, on a Florida criminal charge, or a federal criminal charge, a warrant is issued until you appear before a judge and are granted bail or pre-trial release. If you fail to appear at any court-set hearing a capias (warrant) is issued. Violations of probation warrants are the most common, and the most common violation of probation warrants are issued for missing a check-in with your probation officer, or leaving Florida and moving without permission and without the receiving State agreeing to supervise the probation or community control. Both Federal criminal courts and Fort Lauderdale and Miami criminal courts hear violation of probation matters. If you have been arrested or have reason to believe a violation of probation warrant is out there: call a criminal defense attorney and let him/her help you.
A client of mine in 2009 paid over $1000.00 for extradition costs when he was arrested in New York on a Fort Lauderdale violation of probation warrant and transported to jail in Fort Lauderdale. He then waited ten days in jail before he saw a judge. Fort Lauderdale and Miami criminal courts have outstanding violation of probation warrants that are active in the national search system available to every police officer in their cruiser (cop car). If you missed a court date, or left Florida before completing probation call any Florida criminal lawyer and have him/her check for you. It’s not always bad news….some lawyers have mastered Due Process motions to dismiss violation of probation warrants that are very old. Your lawyer can file motions for reprimand hearings or early termination hearings on violation of probations and quash warrants that are legally defective or filed after expiration of a probation term. Miami and Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers are your problem solvers if you are proactive and don’t wait to be extradited. So if you think there may be an outstanding violation of probation warrant for you, contact any Florida criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, or Miami, today. You will get a better result if you walk into court voluntarily then if you are dragged in from jail.
First: deal with it NOW! Call your Florida criminal defense lawyer and do the following:
1) Read your “Final Disposition” issued by the Judge at your sentencing hearing: note all ‘special conditions’ that were imposed.
2) Read the Florida criminal statute which lists the standard conditions of probation.
3) Have your Florida criminal defense lawyer obtain a copy of your violation of probation warrant and see exactly what violations are alleged in the warrant.
4) Have your criminal lawyer deal with the probation officer and the prosecutor to work towards a resolution.
Not all violations are major enough to send you to jail. But being an absconder (away for a long time) is almost always enough to get you a jail term. Your first court appearance is where you either admit or deny the alleged violations. If you deny the prosecutor has ten days to prepare for a violation of probation Evidentiary Hearing. At that hearing the prosecutor has to prove the violations with witnesses or evidence. Sadly, Florida criminal law permits hearsay to be admitted at violation of probation evidentiary hearings. Call your Florida criminal defense lawyer for an opinion on the violation. Some violations of probation are technical or minor and will not expose you to a jail sentence.
Violation of Probation problems start with a warrant request from a probation officer. If you, or someone close to you, is on probation in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood or Palm Beach, start with knowing the terms and conditions of your probation. A Violation of Probation warrant must list the condition and how it was violated. Some probation conditions are considered “technical” others are “substantive”, i.e. some are not important enough to get one violated, others are. The conclusion of a technical vs. a substantive violation is made by a sentencing judge at a violation of probation hearing.
Step One: KNOW your probation conditions. They appear in your sentencing order, in the probation statute, or ask your probation officer. Step Two: keep close contact with your probation officer. Most violations are merely a matter of bad communication or missed check-ins. A violation of probation warrant means you will be picked-up and held in jail until a judge can hold the first of two hearings. At your first hearing you admit or deny the allegations contained in the Violation of Probation warrant. If you deny them you will be held over (usually a minimum of ten days) and then you can have a Violation of Probation Evidentiary Hearing. The State must prove the condition was in your probation and that it was violated. An experienced South Florida Criminal Defense lawyer from Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie or most of the towns in Broward County usually has his law office near the Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Like a surgeon needs to be close-by his hospital, a real criminal defense lawyer is located near to the Fort Lauderdale jail and courthouse. Call for a free consultation if you have any questions or issues related to probation or a violation of probation warrant from courts in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach or South Florida.
Probation is a sentence, not a condition of pre-trial release or bond. If you have been placed on probation by a Judge in Florida you need to read and understand the standard conditions of probation. The standard provisions of probation in Florida appear in Florida Statute 948. [Press HERE to go to the statute]. A violation of probation is a serious matter. Most probationers in Florida violate at one point in the term of their probation. If you are on probation and have any questions that are not answered clearly by your probation officer call
Anyone arrested in South Florida (Fort Lauderdale or any community in Broward County) is brought before a Magistrate and bail (bond is bail) is set, (or denied) according to the type of crime charged and the persons’ personal situation. The bail or bond sets conditions and/or the money which must be posted for release. Once released from incarceration, you are free to go home. (the article continues....go to page 2)
Violation of Probation can mean prison. In South Florida criminal defendants are often given the option of an extended probation rather than incarceration. It can sound like a safe alternative to a trial and possible incarceration…but it is more often a slippery slope glide to prison. The numbers don’t lie.
If you are arrested for a criminal charge in South Florida ask your Florida criminal defense attorney if probation is easy. It definitely is not. If Probation is hard, community control is almost impossible.
Probation violations come in two types: “technical” and substantive. A violation of probation warrant is requested by the supervising probation officer, sent to a criminal judge who, if he signs it, creates the violation of probation warrant which requires your arrest and detention. In South Florida criminal courts, particularly in Broward County, the jail holds you for ten days before the judge brings you up for a first violation of probation hearing. At the first hearing you are given an opportunity to read the violation of probation warrant and you either admit or deny. If you admit then the judge can do one of three things: 1) sentence you to a jail or prison term 2) modify probation or community control to add special conditions or a jail or prison term followed by probation or more community control, or 3) just return you to probation and reinstate all conditions.
A 12 year old child will be on a 2 year probation in conviction of the death of his 5 week old cousin. A judge in Georgia gave out the sentence in astonishment of the parents and family. Prosecutors claimed that the boy was left in a car unattented last July 4th. The boy was left with the child as the mother went away for a brief moment. Upon returning to the vehicle, the infant was found to be unresponsive. Medical examination documented head fractures and bruising on the baby likely to be caused by being slammed into a hard surface at least a few times. The boy was found to be unaware of the severity of the matter and was given a charge on two lesser counts of battery.