Former State Prosecutor
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Alleged offenders who are sentenced to probation for felony offenses are generally supervised by the Florida Department of Corrections. Supervision of individuals sentenced to probation for misdemeanor offenses, however, depends on the county in which the person was sentenced. For example, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office handles supervisions of all misdemeanor probation sentences in Pinellas County.
The terms of probation for misdemeanants are generally more relaxed than the conditions imposed on felony offenders, but the distinction does not mean that people on probation for misdemeanor offenses will not be penalized for violations of their probation.
When individuals are sentenced to probation for misdemeanor offenses allegedly violate the terms of their probation, judges may revoke their probation and could possibly sentence them to the maximum penalties for the charges they were originally placed on probation for.
If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation relating to a misdemeanor offense in the Tampa Bay area, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents individuals in Dunedin, Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park, and the surrounding communities in Pinellas County.
Melinda Morris is a criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg who has previous experience handling these cases on the other side of the aisle as a former prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office in Pinellas County.
Call (727) 388-4736 to receive a free initial consultation that will allow our attorneys to provide a complete evaluation of your case.
The terms and conditions of probation in Florida are established under Chapter 948 of the Florida Statutes. The specific conditions that a misdemeanant is expected to comply with can vary depending on the alleged offense the person was accused of as well as his or her criminal record.
Some of the terms and conditions of probation established under Florida Statute § 948.03 include:
Probation can be a very costly process for alleged offenders. People placed on probation are responsible for paying for many of the costs listed above, including drug testing, electronic monitoring, and other assorted fees.
When an individual allegedly violates the terms of his or her probation, that person’s probation officer will submit an affidavit with the court documenting the alleged violation of probation. In most misdemeanor cases, alleged offenders are asked to turn themselves in at the local county jail although the judge does have the power to issue a warrant for an alleged offender’s arrest.
Probation violations may be technical or substantive. A technical violation of probation is usually some failure to abide by the specific terms and conditions of the probation such as an unauthorized change of address or failure to attend a probation meeting, but a substantive violation involves an alleged offender committing a new criminal offense.
When a person is accused of violating the terms of his or her probation, the court will hold a violation of probation evidentiary hearing at which the state must prove that the alleged offender committed a willful and substantial violation of the terms of his or her probation. After the hearing a judge will usually have three options:
Misdemeanor Probation | Pinellas County Sheriff's Office — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has been supervising all persons serving misdemeanor probation sentences since taking over those duties on September 2, 2013. The county utilizes only one central location for probationers to report in order to comply with their court ordered probationary obligations. On this website, you can find contact information and hours of operation relating to misdemeanor probation.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
14500 49th St. N.
Clearwater, FL 33762
Thompson v. State, 890 So.2d 382, 383 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) — Hearsay is generally admissible in violation of probation hearings, but courts in Florida have routinely ruled that revocation of probation or community control cannot be based solely on hearsay. Florida Statute § 90.801 defines hearsay as “a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” The Second District Court of Appeal ruled in this 2004 case that Benjamin Thompson's supervising officer was the State’s only witness and his testimony was hearsay.
St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys Melinda Morris and Seth Shapiro represent clients throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Pasco County.
The Morris Law Firm can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (727) 388-4736 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, July 28, 2017.
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