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Under Florida law, probation is a supervision program created as an alternative to imprisonment, or as a program after a convicted individual has been released from custody. Probation commonly involves completing certain court-ordered conditions and monthly meetings with a probation officer.
An individual may be sentenced to probation or community control in Florida if they enter a plea deal with the prosecutor or are found guilty of certain offenses. Individuals who are convicted of capital felonies are not eligible for probation or community control. The alleged offender will probably never be required to serve a jail or prison sentence if they successfully complete all terms of their probation.
If an individual who is on probation fails to abide by the terms of their probation, they may be subjected to very severe penalties, including a revocation of the terms of their probation, requirement to be sentenced to the full jail or prison term of the underlying offense, or other penalties as the court determines. However, if there was a reasonable explanation for your violation of probation (VOP), your experienced Gainesville defense lawyer may be able to have your probation reinstated without any change or have it modified for easier compliance.
If you have been charged with any probation violation in Gainesville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Ocala, Alachua, and Lake City, contact the Galigani Law Firm. Dean Galigani is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and is evaluated for professionalism and tested for expertise in all areas of Florida’s terms of probation and parole. Call the Galigani Law Firm today for a free consultation at (352) 375-0812 about your alleged violation of probation.
Probation is defined in the Florida Statues § 948.001 as a form of community supervision that requires continued contact with a probation officer and completing other terms and conditions.According to Fla. Stat. § 948.06, if your probation officer has any reason to believe you violated a term of your probation in any material way, they can report you violated your probation and a warrant will probably be issued for your arrest by the court.
An alternative to probation in Florida is known as community control. According to Fla. Stat. § 948.001, community control is a form of supervised custody in the community by a law enforcement officer where the offender is restricted to the community, their home or a residential placement facility, such as a halfway house. An offender on community control is also required to complete certain terms and conditions. This form of community supervision is stricter than probation and is usually available for felony offenders or those who would not typically be eligible for probation. Violations of community control can result in the same penalties as probation violations.
There several different possible variations of terms to probation, and the conditions an offender is required to follow usually depends on the type of offense the offender committed, whether they have a previous criminal history and the court where they are sentenced. If the offender fails to follow every term of the probation exactly, they could be charged with a violation of probation. Possible terms of probation in Florida can include any of the following under Fla. Stat. § 948.03:
If an individual violates the terms of their probation, they can potentially face very harsh punishments, including any of the following:
After an alleged offender has turned themselves in for a probation violation or have been arrested for the violation, they will be permitted a hearing in front of the judge to explain their side and why they committed the violation or deny they violated any term to their probation. Since the violation occurred after the offender was permitted a trial for the underlying offense, they will not be allowed to present their case to a jury of their peers.
At the hearing to determine if the offender violated their probation, the judge will listen to the facts of the offender’s case and determine if a violation occurred. The offender can be forced to testify against themselves at this hearing and witnesses can be called to testify against the offender.
The prosecutor’s burden of proof in a VOP hearing is not guilt by the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, as in a normal criminal case. Instead, the prosecutor only has to show the offender violated their probation by a preponderance of the evidence, which means it is more likely than not the offender violated their probation. The standard of proof is very low, and is usually easy for the prosecutor to demonstrate. Therefore, it is essential to hire an experienced Gainesville criminal defense attorney to represent your side in a VOP hearing.
Alachua County Probation – This Alachua County government site provides information for individuals who have been sentenced to probation by a county judge for committing certain traffic violations and misdemeanor offenses. The maximum term of probation in county court is one year. The Alachua County probation program can be contacted at:Probation Program Supervisor
Florida Department of Corrections – The Florida Department of Corrections (DC) aims to protect the safety of the public while supervising offenders and assisting offenders who have been released from supervision into society. This link provides information to probation and community supervision in Florida. The Gainesville office is located at:215 SE 2nd Ave
Florida Statues – Probation and Community Control – This link is to Chapter 948 of the Florida Statutes, which defines probation, community control, terms of probation, probation violations and possible penalties for violation of probation throughout Florida.
Contact the Galigani Law Firm today for a consultation about your alleged probation violation throughout Alachua County in Florida. Dean Galigani is an experienced Gainesville criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions in your particular situation. Contact the Galigani Law Firm at (352) 375-0812 for a consultation about your alleged probation violation throughout the counties in Florida, including Marion County, Levy County, Columbia County and Gilchrist County.
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