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.
If you or your family member have a Violation of Probation (VOP) or Violation of Community Control (VOCC) you need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process. You should not enter a plea to VOP or VOCC without speaking to an experienced attorney first.
There are many defenses to VOP/VOCC and you need an active, skillful, and strong attorney to help you defend your charges. While you may be tempted to use the public defender, consider there are around 60 public defenders who handle over 30,000 cases each year. There are other facts you need to know before hiring a lawyer. Depending upon your specific situation you may be charged with a technical violation of probation or a new crime, which would violate your probation. In either event the State must prove the violation is willful and substantial. This can be difficult for the State to prove and a skilled attorney can help you.
There are often many conditions of probation such as reporting to your probation officer, paying fees and fines for classes. If you violate one of these types of conditions it is known as a “technical” violation of probation. Another way to violate probation is if you are arrested for a new crime. This is known as a “new law violation”.
The attorneys at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley have handled thousands of VOP and VOCC cases in addition to misdemeanor, juvenile, felony, and capital crime cases. We can and will help you navigate the process and help you achieve the best result possible for your VOP/VOCC.
Whatever the reason you are charged with a VOP there are certain things you should know:
- First, immediately call Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley to speak with an experienced VOP attorney. You need to know your rights and what to do and not to do. (Initial consultations are always free and attorneys are available 24/7.)
- Remember, you are still on probation and should continue to perform all the conditions of probation. The rules for VOP/VOCC are very different than when you were initially charged with the crime that lead to your probation/community control.
- With a VOP the Judge and Probation Officer have many options on how to handle your case. A good attorney may be able to convince the Judge and Probation Officer the Violation of Probation / Violation of Community Control should be dismissed without punishment.
- Even after you have been charged with a VOP/VOCC your actions can help your situation.
- If you have failed to complete a class or submit to a drug test you may want to do so after speaking with an attorney.
- If you have failed to pay a fee or fine you may want to request an extension of time to pay.
- Your attorney can tell you what you should or should not do to achieve the best possible outcome for your VOP/VOCC.
These simple steps will save you a lot of trouble later. Call or email us for practical advice that will make a big difference in your case.
If you are on probation you goal should be to get off probation as quickly as possible. The Court has the power to terminate your probation at anytime if you can convince the Judge and Probation Officer that you do not need to be on probation. There are many rules and responsibilities involved with convincing the Court you should be released from probation. Some of the things you can do are address to problems that lead to you being on probation. For example:
- If you were hanging out with the wrong crowd, find new friends.
- Any productive activity that you do is helpful.
- Go to work, school or church.
- Volunteer helping other people.
- Follow the terms of your probation or community control exactly.
If you are on probation our attorneys can give you advice about getting off probation. Being on Probation, Community Control or House arrest puts your freedom at risk. We can help you get off Probation, Community Control or House Arrest as soon as possible.
Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley is the largest and most experienced criminal and family law firm in Brevard County. We help clients from our two offices (Cocoa & Melbourne) and serve clients in Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa, Titusville, Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic, Rockledge, West Melbourne, Malabar, Indian Harbour Beach, and all the towns in between. Call or email us today for your free consultation – Let’s make a plan for your future and your freedom.