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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 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.

Attorney for Misdemeanor Probation Violations in St. Petersburg, FL

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.

Overview of Misdemeanor Probation Violations Florida

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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;
  • 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.

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Misdemeanor Probation Violation Penalties in St. Petersburg

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.

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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
Misdemeanor Probation
14500 49th St. N.
Clearwater, FL 33762
(727) 464-8100

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.

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Finding an Attorney for Misdemeanor Probation Violations in Pinellas County, FL

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.