Articles Posted in Probation Violations

The Florida courts will often sentence people convicted of federal crimes to lengthy prison terms. In some instances, though, a court will impose a more lenient penalty and sentence a person to probation. Offenders on probation must comply with the terms of their release, and if they do not, they may face significant penalties, including imprisonment. Recently, a Florida court discussed factors weighed in determining whether a sentence imposed after revocation of probation is reasonable in a case in which the defendant was sentenced to eleven months in prison. If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, it is smart to meet with an experienced Tampa probation violation defense lawyer to evaluate your potential defenses.

History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was charged with conspiring to commit mail fraud and participating in a tax fraud scheme. He entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to five years of probation. While on probation, he tested positive for marijuana, missed numerous drug tests and counseling sessions, and failed to report to his probation officer. Thus, the State moved for revocation of his probation.

Allegedly, during the revocation hearing, he asked for a second chance, which the court granted despite its reservations. The defendant tested positive for narcotics numerous times over the next five months. Subsequently, the district court revoked his probation and sentenced him to eleven months in prison, followed by eight years of supervised release. The defendant appealed, arguing his sentence was unreasonable. Continue Reading ›

Many people who are convicted of crimes are sentenced to probation, either after or instead of prison sentences. While probation offers substantially more freedom than imprisonment, defendants sentenced to probation typically must comply with numerous conditions. People that fail to do so and violate the terms of their probation may face significant consequences. Thus, it is critical for parties sentenced to probation to understand what constitutes a violation and what may occur if they violate the conditions of their probation. If you were charged with a crime or are currently accused of violating your probation, it is smart to meet with a knowledgeable Tampa criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights.

Violations of Probation Under Florida Law

Probation is a type of community supervision in which a person convicted of a crime must comply with specific conditions and terms instead of being sent to prison. If a person violates a term of his or her probation, it may result in significant penalties, up to revocation of probation.

A violation of probation happens when a person substantially and willfully fails to comply with the conditions and terms of his or her probation. Whether a violation is both substantial and willful is assessed based on the facts of each case. The State bears the burden of proving a violation occurred, but it faces a lesser burden than in other criminal matters. Specifically, the State merely has to prove a violation occurred by the greater weight of the evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt. Continue Reading ›


In some instances, a defendant convicted of a criminal offense will be sentenced to probation rather than imprisonment. Although people on probation have significantly more freedoms than those who are imprisoned, their liberties are not boundless. Specifically, they must comply with the restrictions imposed by their probation orders. If they violate the rules of probation, they may face additional penalties, but not all violations are significant enough for probation to be revoked. Recently, a Florida court addressed what constitutes a violation significant enough to lead to the revocation of probation. If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, it is critical to meet with a seasoned Tampa criminal defense attorney to assess your possible defenses.

The Defendant’s Probation and Alleged Violation

It is reported that the defendant was convicted of several drug crimes. Following his conviction, he was sentenced to probation. One of the conditions of the defendant’s probation was that he had a curfew that dictated that he had to be home between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. One evening, the defendant’s girlfriend came home from work, after which they traveled to the store. They left the house at 11:15 pm and were stopped by a police officer at 1:40 am. The defendant’s probation was then revoked due to the violation of his curfew. The defendant appealed. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the revocation.

Material Probation Violations Under Florida Law

On appeal, the defendant argued that his violation was not substantial. The appellate court disagreed, noting that the defendant’s absence was extended and there was no emergency. The court also noted that under Florida law, an absence from home without permission is considered a willful and substantial violation of probation.

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Many criminal convictions result in sentences that include probation. While a person is not incarcerated during a probationary period, he or she must nonetheless comply with the terms of probation, and a person who willfully violates the terms of his or her probation may be sentenced to imprisonment. Recently, a Florida court discussed what evidence the State may introduce to show a willful violation of probation. If you live in Tampa and are accused of a probation violation or a crime, it is in your best interest to meet with a skillful Tampa probation violation defense attorney to discuss your options.

Factual History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was convicted of multiple sex crimes for which he was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by ten years of sexual offender probation. His probationary period began in 2013. In 2014, the defendant’s probation officer filed a notification of a technical violation due to the defendant’s failure to take a polygraph test, but no affidavit of a violation of probation was filed. In 2015, a violation of probation violation was filed, but the defendant was found not guilty, and in 2018 the defendant was found to have violated the terms of his probation, after which his probation was reinstated.

Allegedly, in 2019 the defendant’s probation officer submitted an affidavit of violation of probation due to the fact that the defendant missed his curfew. The defendant denied that he committed a willful violation, but following a hearing, the defendant was found guilty of a violation. He was sentenced to concurrent fifteen-year prison terms, after which he appealed, arguing that the court violated his rights during the hearing and sentencing process.

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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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