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Violation of Probation (VOP)

The attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. can help defend your future from a violation of probation (VOP) charge in Pinellas County, Florida. Melinda Morris, managing partner of the Morris Law Firm was a former assistant state attorney with the Sixth Judicial Circuit and was responsible for prosecuting a variety of VOP offenses. This perspective can prove invaluable in understanding the prosecution’s case against you and weakening it.

This perspective can prove invaluable in understanding the prosecution’s case against you as you fight to the best result in your case.

Violation of Probation Lawyer in St. Petersburg, FL

If you are accused of violating your probation, you run the risk of having your probation revoked. A judge will sign a warrant for your arrest. Once you are brought to jail, you can be held there without bond.

A violation of probation hearing under Florida law is very different than being charged with a new crime. Because you have already been sentenced to Probation, you have less legal protections than if you were charged with a new crime.

  • No statute of limitations;
  • You can’t wait out the VOP;
  • No automatic right to a bond while awaiting a probation violation hearing;
  • No right to jury trial in a violation of probation hearing;
  • Hearsay is admissible against you; and
  • Guilt does not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is generally much easier for the State Attorney’s Office to prove a violation of probation than a new offense. Nevertheless, there are defenses to a Violation of Probation.

The attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A. strive to successfully defend clients accused of violation of probation in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Bradenton, Dunedin, Seminole, and the surrounding areas.

Hiring the Morris Law Firm, P.A. quickly can be beneficial in several ways including:

  • We can appear in court on your behalf to argue for your “release on own recognizance” (ROR), or for a bond to be set;
  • We can often file a motion to surrender which allows you to walk into the courtroom with your criminal defense attorney to ask the court to withdraw or modify the VOP “no bond” warrant for your arrest;
  • We can argue the merits of the violation itself in an attempt to get the violation dismissed, or help you get your probation reinstated by the Court in lieu of more severe sanctions;
  • We can develop a plan of action that can be presented to the Court on your behalf to show the Court why you should not remain in custody and instead what can be accomplished by you if you are allowed to remain out-of-custody and working on your probation conditions.

After you are placed on probation, you are advised of the conditions of your probation by the judge or a probation officer. Should you disobey the conditions, you run the risk of having your probation violated. There are two types of probation violations you can commit:

  • Technical Violation; or
  • Substantive Violation (New-Law Violation)

What is a Technical Violation of Probation?

A technical violation is any violation of either your general or special conditions of probation. Examples of technical violations include:

  • Changing your address without permission;
  • Failure to pay court costs or fines;
  • Missing a probation meeting with your probation officer;
  • Being late to a probation meeting with your probation officer;
  • Leaving the county or state;
  • Not completing court-ordered classes, etc.

What is a Substantive Violation of Probation?

Under Florida law, substantive violations of probation occur when you commit a new criminal offense. Importantly, even if the new criminal charge is dismissed or your win acquittal at trial, a prosecutor can still try to “prove-up” the offense at a VOP hearing. And, unlike a criminal trial, the burden of proof is only a “preponderance of the evidence” and there is no right to a jury.

What are the penalties for Violating Probation?

If you violate your probation a judge can do one of three things:

  1. Reinstate your Probation;
  2. Modify the terms of your Probation; or
  3. Revoke your Probation.

Importantly, if a Florida judge revokes your probation, Florida law allows the judge to impose the maximum penalty for the charge for which you were placed on probation.

What are the defenses to violating probation under Florida law?

Defenses to a charge of violating probation may include showing one of the following:

  • Actual Innocence;
  • Full Compliance; or
  • Inability to Prove the VOP allegation (also known as “insufficient evidence”).

If you have been charged with violation of probation in St. Petersburg or Clearwater, Florida, contact an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney at the Morris Law Firm, P.A. to discuss the particular facts of your case.

Our attorneys represent clients charged with either a felony violation of probation or a misdemeanor violation of probation in Pinellas County, FL, and throughout the greater Tampa Bay Area.

Meet The Attorneys Melinda Morris & Seth Shapiro

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides
    Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.
    We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.
    Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.
    We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.
    You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.
    The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.

CLient Testimonials

Hear From Real People We've Helped

At Morris Law Firm, P.A., your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "Look no further than Morris Law"
    Seth Shapiro is the most professional, courteous, caring attorneys I’ve dealt with in all of my 70 years. He did a fabulous job representing me defending me and getting charges dropped. I couldn’t have dreamed of better counsel.
    - Stephen on AVVO
    "100% satisfied with Morris Law Group."
    100% satisfied with Morris law group. Melinda was able to resolve my legal issues with no additional expenses other than my original retainer. I highly recommend this firm for professional and competent representation.
    - Peter R. on Yelp
    "Best legal representation"
    If you want the best legal representation, look no further than Morris law firm. Melinda reassured me from the very first time we spoke over the phone. She is very professional and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. I really liked that I didn’t have to reach out to her Everything was smooth, straightforward and she put my mind at ease. You’ll be in good hands with her. Thank you Melinda
    - Hassan on Google
    "Thanks to The Morris Law Firm"
    Mr.Shapiro helped my case by looking at the police body cam diligently which supported my testimony . He presented evidence to the prosecutor .I hired Seth Shapiro to defend me after a domestic battery charge in which I was wrongfully accused and arrested. My case was dismissed thankfully. .Couldn't have asked for a better outcome. This was an extreme difficult time for me. Seth Shapiro was knowledgeable and compassionate in my case. He followed up with my concerns. I would highly recommend this firm.
    - Melody Z.
    "Goes above and beyond"
    Melinda has represented me on numerous cases and the outcome has always been great. Melinda goes above and beyond to defend your rights and get you the best possible outcome. I highly recommend hiring her.
    - Shasta on Google
    "They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful."
    Morris Law Firm is a very professional and responsive. They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful. Strongly recommend them especially Seth Shapiro. He decreased my case from felony to misdemeanor in short terms and during 6 months my case was totally closed.
    - Elina P. on Google