Clearwater Probation Violation Attorney
If you are already on misdemeanor or felony probation, and believe that your probation officer will accuse you of probation violation, contact an experienced violation probation attorney. At Roman & Roman, P.A., our Clearwater violation of probation attorneys handle violations of probation in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.
Judges can give you the maximum sentence allowed under the original charge, even if the probation violation seems minor. And they can do this even if they are not convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” you committed the probation violation.
Therefore, only an experienced attorney can provide you adequate representation in these delicate cases. You need a Clearwater violation of probation attorney who can present your case with passion and who can make an argument that appeals to the judge you will be facing.
Experienced Clearwater Violation of Probation Attorneys Explain the VOP Process
When your probation officer makes an allegation that you violated one or more of your conditions of probation, either a technical violation or a new law violation, they will create an affidavit for their supervisor to review. Once the affidavit is reviewed and approved, it will be submitted to a judge and a warrant will be signed. Once this occurs, police will arrest you on the violation of probation warrant.
Once you are arrested, you will generally be held at a “no bond” status on your violation of probation case. You will remain in jail until your case is scheduled in front of a judge, which can be a week or two. However, an attorney can schedule a quick hearing for you in order to get a bond, ROR (release on own recognizance), or resolve the violation altogether.
If you are accused of a “technical” violation of probation and hire an experienced Clearwater violation of probation attorney before the probation officer can submit the violation to a judge, your attorney can often convince your probation officer to give you more time to come into compliance or convince the probation officer not to pursue the violation case at all.
Some technical violations could include but are not limited to:
- Not completing community service on time
- Failing to pay costs/restitution
- Missing an appointment with the probation officer
- Submitting a dirty urine test
- Leaving the county without permission
- Violation of a “no contact” provision
- Violating a curfew condition
In order to be found in violation of your probation, the State needs to show your technical violation is “willful and substantial.”
For you to be found in violation for being behind on payments/costs/restitution, the State needs to show that you had the ability to pay and are willfully refusing to do so. This type of violation is rarely proven in court by the State, but unfortunately, your probation officer can still have you arrested initially.
Consequences of a Violation of Probation
You are not entitled to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that is used in ordinary criminal proceedings. At a VOP hearing, the judge will determine the outcome based on a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. This is a much lower standard than the ordinary “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Some possible outcomes include:
- The judge can adjudicate you guilty of the underlying offense.
- For example, if you were put on probation for Grand Theft (third degree felony) and received a withhold of adjudication, the judge can go back and adjudicate you guilty, or convict you on the original charge. This is unfortunate because you would then be considered a convicted felon and lose all civil rights that go along with such a classification.
- The judge can revoke your probation and sentence you up to the maximum amount of time the original charge would carry.
- For example, if you were placed on probation for Grand Theft (third degree felony), the judge could still sentence you up to five years in prison.
- The judge can revoke your probation and sentence you to a new term of probation that could be several months or years longer than your original term.
- The judge can revoke your probation and sentence you to a term of community control, followed by a term of probation.
- The judge can modify your probation to include an additional condition of probation.
- For example, the judge could add community service hours, require counseling, or add a fine.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Violation of Probation Attorney in Clearwater
- Before you are arrested on the violation of probation warrant, your attorney can set a hearing where a bond may be set or ROR, resolve the violation of probation allegation, or have the judge dismiss the violation altogether. As a result, this would avoid you being taken into custody.
- Your attorney can arrange for you to turn yourself in at the jail and appear on your behalf at your first appearance, where they can request a bond, ROR, or resolve the violation.
- If you are not released at first appearance, your attorney can get your case set in front of the sitting judge and request a bond, ROR, or resolve the violation at that time.
Contact a Clearwater Probation Violation Attorney
At Roman & Roman, P.A., our Clearwater probation violation attorneys can assist you in having your probation or community control terminated early. Generally speaking, you should wait until about half of your probation or community control is complete before you should ask for early termination.
Before granting a motion for early termination of probation, the judge will look to see if you have completed all terms and conditions of your sentence. For example, the judge will take into account whether you have completed your community service hours or paid all of your costs associated with the probationary sentence. The judge will also take into consideration whether you have violated your probation in the past.
Additionally, if you are currently serving a term of community control and have completed half of your community control sentence, we can also assist you in “rolling over” the remainder of the term into regular probation.
Contact us today for professional and reliable representation in your probation violation case. We also handle personal injury and business and real estate law cases.