If you have been placed on probation or community control, you have been advised of the conditions of your supervision. Should you violate those conditions by intentionally and materially breaking the rules, then you risk having your probation or community control violated. Your probation officer will report to the judge who will be asked to sign a warrant for your arrest and you may be kept in the county jail without bond pending the results of your hearing. While a judge has the authority to set a bond, he or she is not required to do so. In fact, in many cases where a violation of probation or community control arises, the court prefers not to set a bond.
After a violation warrant is issued, you will be brought before a judge and provided a copy of the charges. You will be asked if you admit or deny the violation. If you deny the violation, your case will be set for a hearing before the judge at a future date. You should be aware that you do not have the right to a trial by jury on a probation or community control violation, but simply a hearing before the court.
If you admit the violation, that is equivalent to pleading guilty and the judge will impose sentence. Because violations of probation or community control are serious, a person accused of a violation is often looking at incarceration. Therefore, it is very important that prior to entering any plea or appearing at a probation or community control violation hearing that you have the advantage of representation by a competent criminal attorney.
Compared to incarceration in a state prison or jail, probation is a desirable sentence. However, a probationary sentence doesn’t set a Defendant free in the ordinary sense of the word. He or she may not be in prison, but a probationer is under the supervision of the Florida Department of Corrections and must comply with numerous conditions in order to avoid having his probation revoked. His freedom is limited by strict compliance with the conditions of probation set at sentencing.
Community control is a form of house arrest, which takes place at the felony level. Community Control is sometimes available to a Defendant who is not considered a good risk for probation. The Defendant is placed with the Florida Department of Corrections and this form of supervision is stricter and much more closely supervised than ordinary probation. Under community control a Defendant is permitted away from home only during certain hours, normally for work or education. A Defendant who fails to check in with his community control officer as required or who fails to stick to the timetable and pattern of movement set up by his community control officer will have his community control revoked and find himself incarcerated. Nevertheless, community control may be far more preferable than imprisonment.
You can speak with one of our skilled attorneys about your situation. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation (321) 631-0506.