Orlando Violation of Probation Attorney

Probation Defense

Violation of probation (VOP) cases can have harsh consequences as any sentence that could have been originally imposed can be imposed upon a VOP conviction. VOP cases can be based on technical violations, new law violations or for financial reasons. Any VOP conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. People make mistakes, often times while on probation. Orange County violation of probation lawyer Bryce Fetter believes in fighting for a second chance. Our goal is to do whatever is necessary to resolve your probation case with no jail and no criminal conviction. We have defended hundreds of probation cases. Once hired, we will:

  1. Review your entire court file;
  2. Obtain a copy of your VOP affidavit;
  3. Organize your defense;
  4. Immediately start negotiating your prosecutor, and
  5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a criminal conviction and prolonged jail sentence.

jail building

Bond Reduction Motions in Violation of Probation Case

A violation of probation allegation case can cause you to remain in jail for weeks or months until your VOP case is resolved. Our first priority is to get you out of jail. We can file a ‘motion to set bond’ asking the court for your release. Our second priority is to keep you out of jail. Often times, for a minor violation or first violation, we can have the court reinstate your probation with minimal or no additional sanctions.

If your violation of probation warrant is a no-bond warrant you have the right to request the court to set a bond. It is important to note that you are not entitled to a bond as a matter of law for any Florida violation of probation case. However you do have the right to petition the court for a bond hearing where you have the right to present facts and arguments in favor of setting a reasonable bond. Some factors the court may consider in setting a bond are:

  1. The nature and circumstances of the violation of probation.
  2. Your family ties and length of residence in the community.
  3. Your employment history, financial resources, and mental condition.
  4. Your past and present conduct including any prior convictions.
  5. Any previous flight to avoid prosecution or failures to appear.
  6. The nature and probability of danger your release poses to the community.

Call Bryce Fetter Today

We offer a free consultation so that we can learn about you, learn about your case and determine how we can help.

Probation Defense Lawyer in Orange County, FL

Violation of probation (VOP) cases can have harsh consequences as any sentence that could have been originally imposed can be imposed upon a VOP conviction. VOP cases can be based on technical violations, new law violations or for financial reasons. Any VOP conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. People make mistakes, often times while on probation. Orange County violation of probation lawyer Bryce Fetter believes in fighting for a second chance. Our goal is to do whatever is necessary to resolve your probation case with no jail and no criminal conviction. We have defended hundreds of probation cases. Once hired, we will:

  1. Review your entire court file;
  2. Obtain a copy of your VOP affidavit;
  3. Organize your defense;
  4. Immediately start negotiating your prosecutor, and
  5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a criminal conviction and prolonged jail sentence.

jail building

Bond Reduction Motions in Violation of Probation Cases

A violation of probation allegation case can cause you to remain in jail for weeks or months until your VOP case is resolved. Our first priority is to get you out of jail. We can file a ‘motion to set bond’ asking the court for your release. Our second priority is to keep you out of jail. Often times, for a minor violation or first violation, we can have the court reinstate your probation with minimal or no additional sanctions.

If your violation of probation warrant is a no-bond warrant you have the right to request the court to set a bond. It is important to note that you are not entitled to a bond as a matter of law for any Florida violation of probation case. However you do have the right to petition the court for a bond hearing where you have the right to present facts and arguments in favor of setting a reasonable bond. Some factors the court may consider in setting a bond are:

  1. The nature and circumstances of the violation of probation.
  2. Your family ties and length of residence in the community.
  3. Your employment history, financial resources, and mental condition.
  4. Your past and present conduct including any prior convictions.
  5. Any previous flight to avoid prosecution or failures to appear.
  6. The nature and probability of danger your release poses to the community.

An Overview of the Violation of Probation Process

A Violation of Probation case starts in one of three ways: with a notice to appear, a bondable warrant or a no-bond arrest warrant. While a VOP case is initiated by the probation officer sending the court a VOP affidavit or a new arrest, it is the judge who always has the final say as to whether the probationer will be sent a notice to appear or arrested and what bond, if any, will be ordered. A description of the judge’s three options is below:

Notice to appear

A letter mailed to the probationer ordering their appearance in court to answer to VOP allegations. This letter is sent in lieu of a formal VOP arrest and is most commonly issued in minor or misdemeanor VOP allegations or allegations relating to only financial obligations. This is obviously the most preferred method of beginning the VOP process.

Bondable arrest warrant

This is issued when the judge VOP just orders the probationer’s arrest but also assigns a monetary bail along with the arrest warrant. The probationer is arrested and allowed to bond out of jail and remain out of jail during the pendancy of the VOP court case.

No-bond arrest warrant

The most severe of the three avenues to start he VOP process. This occurs when the judge issues a warrant that requires the probationer to remain in jail during the VOP case. This occurs most often when the probationer is on felony probation, commits a new law violation or has a second or subsequent VOP case.

Technical Violations & Substantive Probation Violations

VOP Affidavit

The charging document in any VOP proceeding. Much like the Information in adult court or the Petition for Delinquency in juvenile court the VOP affidavit is the charging document for any VOP proceeding and must allege specific allegations of misconduct. These allegations can be in the form of a technical violation, new law violation or a failure to meet a financial obligation.

Technical Violation

A violation of the rules of probation and not a separator criminal offense. Not performing community service, being kicked out of drug counseling and missing a probation appointment are all examples of technical violations.

New Law Violation

A violation based on a new criminal offense. Being arrested for DUI or being given a Notice to Appear for shoplifting are both examples of new law violations. A new law violation is more serious than a technical violation.

Financial Obligation

Called a ‘failure to pay’ violation, this is technically a technical violation and is the least serious type of violation. Generally is the VOP is for a financial obligation alone, payment– even late payment– will satisfactorily resolve the VOP.

The Violation of Probation Hearing and Local Procedures

There are several major differences in a VOP proceeding. Unlike a new criminal offense, in a VOP proceeding you are not entitled to a bond, you are not entitled to a jury trial and the standard of evidence very low–preponderance of the evidence. So the judge can keep you in jail during the VOP on allegations alone.

Orange County Felony Violation of Probation Procedures

As of January 1, 2016 all Orange County felony VOP cases are being heard before the original trial division. There are no longer separate felony VOP only divisions.

Orange County Misdemeanor Violation Probation Procedures

Orange County misdemeanor violation of probation proceedings are heard before the original misdemeanor trial division. Therefore anyone sentenced to probation by an Orange County misdemeanor trial judge will have his or her VOP case heard before the same judge that placed him or her on probation. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your original sentencing judge.

Seminole County VOP Cases

Seminole County violation of probation charges are prosecuted differently than Orange County. There are four felony trial divisions and five misdemeanor trial divisions and all nine Seminole County criminal judges handles their own VOP caseload. So in Seminole County all probation cases are handled by the original sentencing judge.

Violation of Probation Penalties in Florida

Upon a violation of probation conviction the court can sentence the probationer to any lawful sentence. The sentence can exceed what was previously imposed. So an 18-month probation sentence on a simple drug charge can now turn into a five-year prison sentence. The judge can give the maximum or minimum or anywhere in between upon a VOP conviction. Also know that being convicted of a violation of probation requires the judge to adjudicate you guilty of the underlying offense. A felony conviction will require you to register with the Sheriff’s Office in the county of your residence as a convicted felon and will cause you to lose your civil rights. Any VOP conviction, felony or misdemeanor, will forever disqualify you from ever having this conviction sealed or expunged from your criminal history.

Recent Florida Violation of Probation Case Law 

Villenueva v. State, 2D15-1422 (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 10, 2016) The Fourth Amendment exception that allows a probation officer to search a probationer’s home or workplace to the extent necessary for proper supervision of the probationer does not extend to law enforcement officers.

Williams v. State, 2D14-5500 (Fla. 2d DCA Jan. 15, 2016) Where there is no showing that consumption of alcohol contributed to the offense, the trial court reversibly errs by ordering the defendant to refrain from consuming alcohol while on probation.

Thompson v. State, 3D13-2337 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 13th 2015) A trial court errs by revoking probation based on constructive possession of a knife found in his room: “The knife was found in the defendant’s dormitory room, but it was not in plain view. No evidence of fingerprints on the knife was entered into evidence.”

Harrell v. State, 162 So.3d 1128 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015)   A warrantless search of a probationer’s home by his probation officer is reasonable and is not dependent on the existence of an express search condition in a probation order.   Extending a probation officer’s general authority to conduct a warrantless search of a probationer to a law enforcement officer is not permissible under the Fourth Amendment.

Aviles v. State, 165 So.3d 841 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015)   A probation officer has no authority to impose additional conditions of probation, even if the court has ordered the probationer to follow all instructions the officer may give.   Factors out of the defendant’s control could have prevented completion of this requirement.   Defendant’s submission of job search logs was not imposed as a condition of his probation.

Pulecio v. State, 160 So.3d 556 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2015)   A probation condition is invalid if it: (1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted; (2) relates to conduct which is not itself criminal; and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality.   Special condition of drug trafficking defendant’s probation which stated that self-employment does not satisfy the employment requirement of his probation was not reasonably related to rehabilitation.

Call VOP Attorney Bryce Fetter

Simply put, our goal is to help you get out of jail and stay out of jail. If you or a loved one was recently arrested on a probation violation, please call our Winter Park criminal defense law firm to speak with Orange County violation of probation lawyer Bryce Fetter at 407-740-7275 to discuss your options. We offer a free consultation so that we can learn about you, learn about your violation of probation case and determine how we can help.

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