Articles Posted in Probation Violations

Under Florida law, if a defendant is convicted of a crime, the penalty imposed will depend on several factors, including the nature of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and the likelihood the defendant will commit another criminal offense. In some cases, the court will sentence a defendant to probation in lieu of jail time. A defendant sentenced to probation must comply with the terms and conditions of probation which are set by the court at the time of sentencing.

If a defendant violates any of the terms of probation it can result in a revocation of probation and a sentence of imprisonment. A Florida appellate court recently analyzed the State’s burden of proof in showing a defendant’s probation violation warrants revocation, in a case in which the defendant’s violation was revoked due to a willful violation.  If you are charged with a probation violation in Tampa, it is critical to speak with a trusted Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to prepare a defense.

Facts Regarding the Defendant’s Probation

Criminal defendants who plead guilty or no contest to criminal charges or are convicted of crimes following a trial may be sentenced to a term of probation in lieu of incarceration. Standard terms of probation typically include the requirement that the defendant refrains from violating any laws or committing any new offenses. If the State alleges a defendant on probation committed an offense, it can result in a revocation of the probation and increased penalties.

Recently, a Florida appellate court discussed the State’s burden of proof in revocation hearings, in a case in which the court reversed a trial court’s finding that the defendant had committed a crime. If you reside in Tampa and are facing criminal charges or the potential of revocation of your probation, it is in your best interest to consult a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney to help you in your efforts to retain your rights and protect your future.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the defendant was on probation for various crimes. During his probation, it was alleged that he committed new offenses, thereby violating his probation. Specifically, it was alleged that he used cocaine and committed the offenses of theft, dealt in stolen property, and provided false verification of ownership to a secondhand dealer. A probation revocation hearing was held, after which the court found the defendant violated his probation by committing the alleged offenses and revoked his probation. The defendant appealed, arguing in part, that there was insufficient evidence he provided false verification of ownership to a secondhand dealer.

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Under Florida law, the state is required to produce evidence that an officer is engaged in a lawful duty to convict a defendant charged with resisting arrest.  In a recent case, the District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District reversed a conviction for resisting an officer without violence, due to the state’s failure to introduce sufficient evidence to support the argument that the arresting officers had probable cause to arrest the defendant. If you face charges for resisting an arrest, it is important to retain an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney to analyze the facts regarding your arrest and any evidence the state may attempt to introduce against you. 

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, it is the internal practice of the Tampa Police Department to regularly check in on juveniles on probation to ensure they are complying with the terms of the probation.  If the police determine a juvenile is violating the terms of his or her probation, a “local pickup order” call will then be placed to pick up the juvenile for violation of probation. In this case, two police officers received a dispatch call to pick up the defendant for violation of probation. The officers went to the defendant’s house to arrest him and found him hiding in a closet. The defendant refused to walk down the stairs of the apartment and had to be carried out by the police officers. After the defendant was placed in the police car, he kicked out a window, and the officers had to restrain him. The defendant was subsequently charged and convicted of criminal mischief and resisting an officer without violence. The defendant subsequently appealed his conviction.

In Florida and elsewhere, probation is an alternative to prison time in which a person convicted of a crime is able to remain free, so long as he or she complies with certain terms and conditions. This is an attractive option for anyone charged with a crime in Florida because it allows the person in question to avoid prison time, continue working, and remain with your loved ones. As a recent case out of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal makes clear, however, a person who has violated the terms of his or her probation is liable to face some serious consequences.A defendant in 2010 pled no contest to dealing in stolen property, a second degree felony, and grand theft, a third degree felony. He also pled no contest to dealing in stolen property in a second case. A trial judge withheld sentencing and ordered Defendant to serve three years of probation. One year later, however, Defendant pled no contest to various drug crimes, including cocaine possession. He also admitted to violating the terms of his probation. Defendant later violated the terms of his probation again by failing to undergo drug and alcohol treatment.

In 2015, Defendant entered into an agreement with Florida state prosecutors after once again violating the terms of his probation. He agreed that any new criminal offenses, including for traffic infractions, would violate the terms of his probation. Defendant was eventually sentenced to 15 years in prison on the three 2010 charges after being busted for driving on a suspended license.

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