Felony & Misdemeanor Probation Violation Lawyers in St. Petersburg
If you were accused of a violation of probation in Pinellas County, then the court can either issue a warrant for your arrest or the court can issue a notice to appear. The notice to appear will require you to come to court to respond to charges that you violated probation.
If you are issued a notice to appear and don’t show up for the hearing, then the court can issue a warrant being issued for your arrest for the alleged probation violation. Special rules apply if you are a Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern, including a no bond warrant.
Whether your probation officer is going to issue a warrant for your arrest or a notice to appear, you have the right to be represented by an attorney at the hearing.
Felony Probation Violation
If you were accused of violating your felony probation, then contact an experienced attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A. We represent clients who are issued a warrant and those that receive a notice to appear at the probation violation hearing.
Our probation violation attorneys in St. Petersburg can help you fight for the best result after a substantive or a technical violation of felony probation. Act quickly to secure the services of an attorney. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Call Morris Law Firm, P.A. today at (727) 592-5885.
Rules in Administrative Order No. 2016-010 PA/PI-CIR
Special rules for a felony violation of probation can be found in Administrative Order NO. 2016-010 PA/PI-CIR. The order explains the specific types of probation violations that are reported by a technical violation letter or Notice to Appear in accordance with section 948.06, Florida Statutes.
The order also explains the way these notices are to be submitted to the appropriate judge in the Circuit Court in Pinellas County, FL. The new administrative order from March 1, 2016, rescinded Administrative Order 2007-081 PA/PI-CIR.
The order ensures that technical notification letters and Notices to Appear are to be submitted to the assigned section judge, and in accordance with Article V, section 2, Florida Constitution, Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, and section 43.26, Florida Statutes.
Types of Technical Violations of Probation
The Department of Corrections (“DOC”) may report alleged violations of probation or community control by a technical notification letter or by affidavit and a Notice to Appear when the offender is accused of failing to:
- Report to the probation officer as directed;
- Be truthful to the probation officer;
- Follow instructions of the probation officer;
- Obtain permission prior to moving from an approved residence;
- Obtain permission prior to leaving approved employment;
- Comply with the terms of curfew;
- Obtain permission prior to leaving the county;
- Make restitution payments;
- Pay court costs under a payment plan;
- Perform required community service; or
- Committed an ordinance violation.
The DOC may report alleged violations of probation or community control by submitting an affidavit and proposed Notice to Appear when the offender:
- Has positive results of a drug screen; or
- Has committed a second-degree misdemeanor.
Technical VOP Notification Letter in Pinellas County
A technical notification letter or affidavit and Notice to Appear is to be submitted to the assigned section judge. For a technical notification letter, if the judge agrees that the alleged violation does not require action by the court, the technical notification letter shall be forwarded to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for filing in the court file.
If the judge determines that the alleged violation requires court review, then the judge shall return the letter to the DOC with a directive to promptly submit an affidavit so that the court may either issue a Notice to Appear or a warrant.
If an affidavit and proposed Notice to Appear is submitted but the judge determines that the alleged violation requires arrest of the offender, the judge shall return the Notice to Appear to the DOC with a directive to promptly submit a warrant.
Substantive VOP Warrants in Pinellas County
The DOC shall report all other alleged violations of probation or community control by submitting an affidavit and warrant. The affidavit and warrant is to be submitted to the assigned section judge.
When the DOC submits an affidavit regarding a person alleged to have violated probation or community control, the DOC must do one of the following:
- Indicate whether the DOC seeks a warrant for the arrest of the offender or is requesting the Court to issue a Notice to Appear.
- Indicate whether the offender has ever been convicted of committing or is currently alleged to have committed a qualifying offense as defined in section 948.06, Florida Statutes.
If the DOC requests a Notice to Appear, the DOC may also request that the date of the hearing be set after the next scheduled appointment with the offender. When the Court signs a Notice to Appear, the Court shall set a date for a hearing on the violation. The DOC is to provide notice to the offender.
When a Notice to Appear is to be issued, the DOC shall submit an original and four copies to the Court. The Court shall sign the original and provide the original to the Clerk, two copies to the DOC, one copy to the State Attorney, and one copy to the Public Defender. If the DOC is unable to provide notice to an offender of the hearing date, the DOC shall prepare a warrant for the offender’s arrest.
If you were ordered to appear in a courtroom for a violation of probation hearing on an underlying felony charge, then contact an experienced defense attorney at Morris Law Firm, P.A.
The failure to appear for the above-referenced hearing will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest for an alleged violation of probation.
Misdemeanor Probation Violations
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 that 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.
Call (727) 592-5885 to receive a free initial consultation that will allow our attorneys to provide a complete evaluation of your case.
Common Conditions of Misdemeanor Probation in Pinellas County
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:
- Report to the probation and parole supervisors as directed;
- Permit such supervisors to visit him or her at his or her home or elsewhere;
- Work faithfully at suitable employment insofar as may be possible;
- Remain within a specified place;
- Live without violating any law (a conviction in a court of law is not necessary for such a violation of law to constitute a violation of probation, community control, or any other form of court-ordered supervision);
- Make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved party for the damage or loss caused by his or her offense in an amount to be determined by the court;
- Make payment of the debt due and owing to a county or municipal detention facility under Florida Statute § 951.032 for medical care, treatment, hospitalization, or transportation received by the felony probationer while in that detention facility;
- Support his or her legal dependents to the best of his or her ability;
- Make payment of the debt due and owing to the state under s. 960.17, subject to modification based on change of circumstances;
- Pay any application fee assessed and attorney’s fees and costs, subject to modification based on change of circumstances;
- Not associate with persons engaged in criminal activities;
- Submit to random testing as directed by the correctional probation officer or the professional staff of the treatment center where he or she is receiving treatment to determine the presence or use of alcohol or controlled substances;
- Be prohibited from possessing, carrying, or owning any firearm or weapon without first procuring the consent of the correctional probation officer;
- Be prohibited from using intoxicants to excess or possessing any drugs or narcotics unless prescribed by a physician, an advanced registered nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant;
- Submit to the drawing of blood or other biological specimens, and reimburse the appropriate agency for the costs of drawing and transmitting the blood or other biological specimens to the Department of Law Enforcement; and/or
- Submit to the taking of a digitized photograph by the department as a part of the offender’s records.
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.
Misdemeanor Probation Violation Penalties
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:
- Reinstate Probation — The judge continues the probation as previously imposed;
- Modify Probation — The judge may lengthen the duration of the previously imposed probation or add new requirements, such as community service; or
- Revoke Probation — The judge can revoke the probation and sentence the alleged offender to the maximum penalties for the charges they were originally placed on probation for.
Florida Misdemeanor Probation Violation Resources
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.
Schedule a Free Consultation
St. Petersburg probation violation attorneys Melinda Morris and Seth Shapiro represent clients throughout the area.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (727) 592-5885 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
FORMER STATE PROSECUTOR
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.
TRUSTED & EXPERIENCED
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.
SAME DAY REPRESENTATION
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.