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.

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