If you get arrested while on probation in Florida, the court will likely revoke your probation and you might end up back in jail.
What Can I Expect If I Am Arrested While on Probation?
When you get arrested while on probation, your probation officer will file an affidavit with the court that details the reasons he believes you committed a violation. In response, the court issues a summons to appear or a warrant for your arrest.
This procedure might take a few days, although the police may attempt to arrest you sooner, depending on the seriousness of your charges.
However, if the police discover your probationary status at the time of your arrest, the court may not allow you to bond out.
The sooner you contact Goldman Wetzel — especially if you contact us before the court issues an arrest warrant — the more opportunity we will have to intervene on your behalf with the prosecutor.
Understanding the Conditions of Your Probation
Your Order of Probation will contain specific conditions you must meet during the term of your probation, classified as standard conditions and special conditions.
Standard conditions apply to every person who gets probation in Florida. Standard conditions include reporting to a probation officer, keeping a job, paying court costs and fees, paying restitution, reporting your address, not leaving the county, and not possessing a firearm.
Special conditions may or may not apply to a probationer, at the judge’s discretion. Special conditions include going to drug or alcohol treatment or rehab, taking periodic drug tests, performing community service, and attending therapy or anger management classes.
For the court to sentence you to probation, you must agree to every condition of your Order of Probation, with the understanding that any violation of the conditions will cause the court to revoke your probation. If the court revokes your probation, the judge may sentence you to jail or prison for up to the statutory maximum sentence, not just the remainder of your probation. If the state convicts you of a new crime, you may also serve time for that violation. This is a big reason we recommend calling us as soon as possible so we can intervene on your behalf. Call 727-828-3900.
Getting Arrested Is a Substantive Violation of Florida Probation
Florida Statute § 948.06 establishes two types of probation violations: technical and substantive.
A technical violation is a violation of one or more of the standard or special conditions of your probation. For example, you commit a technical violation if you fail to report a change of address or pay your restitution fees.
A substantive violation, as defined in the statute, means that you committed a new violation of the law during the term of your probation. The Florida Department of Corrections takes the stance that a conviction is not necessary to prove that you violated your probation.
However, it is important to note that the court likely will not revoke your probation without due process.
Do You Need the Goldman Wetzel Probation Violation Lawyers if You Get Arrested While on Probation?
Florida case law deems probation revocation improper when it is based on an arrest alone. However, you may struggle to make this argument on your own. You will likely also struggle to represent yourself and prove that you did not break the law or violate your probation.
You have the legal right to due process of law on any new charges. This means that the court must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain conviction.
However, you do not have the full benefit of legal rights on a probation violation. Consequently, in a violation of probation case, the judge can revoke your order of probation based on a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., you more than likely violated your probation), potentially putting you behind bars for the maximum potential sentence for your original crime — even if you received a lighter sentence originally.
The probation revocation lawyers at Goldman Wetzel understand how easily you can end up back in jail or prison if you get arrested while on probation in Florida. For this reason, we approach every case together. You get the benefit of two unique minds — with two unique legal backgrounds — brainstorming the best ways to handle your defense.
Potential Defenses for Getting Arrested While on Probation
Our defense strategies will depend on the circumstances of your arrest. However, we will attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor to help you avoid a revocation hearing. If we cannot achieve this goal, we can represent you at your hearing, protect your rights, and make a strong case for your defense.
The legal team at Goldman Wetzel is committed to defending you against allegations that you violated your probation. Contact us today at 727-828-3900 to schedule a free consultation.