A large number of criminal cases are resolved by the defendant entering an agreement with the prosecution to go on probation for a period of time. The exact terms of the probation depend on the case, but in every case if the rules are not followed, the defendant can face additional charges and be in more trouble than when the initial case was filed. This sounds easy enough, but because many of the terms of probation are unclear, it is common for violations to occur. In order to make sure you do not violate your probation, it is best to have a clear understanding of the terms before you even leave the Courthouse.
Before you agree to enter a plea in exchange for probation, it is important that you understand what going on probation means. There are some general rules that apply to most every defendant, but there are also facts unique to your case that deserves analysis. The most important thing to remember when you are on probation is that if you fail to abide by the terms, your probation might be revoked. A probation violation is a brand new criminal charge, and a brand new case for you to defend. Because violations of probation can lead to jail time, you must put on a solid defense to maintain your freedom.
Probation violations fall into certain categories. The violation may be technical, such as failing to report to your probation officer; or new. A new violation happens when a new crime is committed. In either instance… Continue reading
When you agree to resolve a criminal case by going on probation, you are expected to fully comply with all the terms of your probation. In most instances this means you cannot be arrested for any new crimes. An arrest for a new crime is not only a new arrest and new case, but also a violation of the probation terms of your old case. When this happens, you will now face punishment in both cases and the consequences can be severe.
Leaving town while on probation, and especially when there are other pending charges or an investigation, will lead to a search for you and a request that you be brought back to face the music. Richard Fero, the subject of a nationwide search, now sits behind bars in Florida. Fero:
● Fero’s time in a Florida jail will be… Continue reading
When you are on probation the most important job you have is to stay out of trouble. While it may seem like overkill, this may even mean not even getting a parking ticket! The problem with being charged with a new crime while on probation is that your probation could be revoked and you may be immediately taken to jail. Sort of like in the childhood game of Monopoly, “do not pass go, but go directly to jail!”. Because this is a likely outcome of a violation of probation, it is important to know how the system works.
Probation violations are governed by state statute. The typical steps of the process include the following:
● Your probation officer will submit paperwork outlining the details of the alleged violation.
● The Judge will review the documents submitted by the probation officer, and if satisfied a… Continue reading
Most times when people are arrested they can post a bond (sometimes called bail) and get out of jail while waiting for their hearing. Posting bond is the Court’s way of making sure you show back up to defend your case. This is because if you do not show up, the bond company will revoke your bond and the entire amount will be due immediately. If you keep your word and appear when your case is on the docket, your bond stays in place without the bondsman having to hunt you down. A common question about bond is whether a person has the ability to post bond if the charge is a violation of probation.
Probation violations are governed by statute. The following is a list of the most common questions and answers about how probation and a violation of probation work:
- Bond… Continue reading
When you violate probation the procedure to charge you with the violation is a different process from a normal criminal proceeding. First, you are not entitled to a jury trial and second, the legal standard for proving the violation is much lower than what is required to convict you of other crimes. Because the consequences can be severe, including imprisonment and revocation of your probation (or parole), it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
The law for probation violations requires there be reasonable grounds to believe a violation has occurred. This is the State’s burden to prove, and some things the offender should do include:
- Remaining silent, including not discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney.
● Do not consent to a search of your person or property.
● Identify witnesses and take down their names and phone numbers… Continue reading
Many times criminal cases are resolved by placing the defendant on probation. Probation is a way to punish the offender, while also teaching valuable lessons and offering a chance at rehabilitation. Probation is not a viable option for all types of criminal cases, and the accused must meet certain criteria before the Court will grant probation. When ordering probation, the Court considers the severity of the crime, the likelihood the offender will flee the jurisdiction, and the number of prior charges.
Probation can take several forms and is overseen by the Department of Corrections. Included in the types of probation you may receive are the following:
● Keeping out of trouble by not being arrested for any new charges, and keeping in touch with a probation officer.
● Probation that does not require you to check in with a probation officer.… Continue reading
In most all areas of life there are different types of most anything. There are manual labor or professional jobs. There are cars or trucks. There are houses or apartments. You can choose to live in town or in the country. In the law there is civil law and there is criminal law. These differences are significant and when you have been charged with a crime it is important you understand the difference.
Failing to abide by all the rules of your probation will result in new criminal charges. The terms and conditions of probation vary from case to case, but are generally as follows:
- Report to the probation and parole supervisor or meet them at your home or any other place directed.
● Maintain employment.
● Maintain a permanent residence and report the address to your probation officer.
● Do not have any… Continue reading
When you are on probation for a crime, it is imperative you follow all the rules of your probation. One misstep can land you back in jail, which means additional fines and penalties. A successful probationary term includes one where you stay out of trouble, pay your fines, and appear back in Court when ordered. One of the fines you might be ordered to pay is called restitution.
Florida statues define restitution as payment that:
● Compensates a victim for the damage or loss caused by the defendant’s offense.
● Compensates a victim for losses associated with criminal conduct.
● Restitution may be monetary, or non-monetary.
The law provides that restitution payments are a condition of probation. This means if you fail to make the payments or make non-monetary restitution you can be charged with a probation violation. Restitution is… Continue reading
The Stand Your Ground Law is well-known throughout the country. Several states have a version of this defense that allows a person to protect their body and home from mortal danger, by returning fire. But, like most rights, if you are a convicted felon you may not be able to take advantage of this defense. Maybe
Ever since George Zimmerman “stood his ground” and the death of Trayvon Martin was the result, the Courts have been flooded with issues surrounding this defense. The time is ripe for a decision on this important issue. A recent ruling has proved controversial and could have wide reaching impact:
● The Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms is not a constitutional provision the Courts take lightly.
● The 4th District Court of Appeal recently ruled a felon may use the stand your ground defense.
The problem? A felon… Continue reading