Orlando VOP Defense Lawyer
Probation and Violation of Probation - FAQs
In an effort to give the general public a better understanding of what a Violation of Probation is in Florida and its implications, criminal defense lawyer David Hill has compiled and answered some frequently asked questions about this subject. Below you will find them.
- How can I pay on my probation if I don't have a job?
- Im on misdemeanor probation. I had my routine monthly visit in April and my PO said the next visit would be a home visit. That happened but he set no MAY meeting ! I have emailed and emailed him and called voicemail to see if we had one I didn't realize, or set see if he wanted to set one for May. I hear nothing back going on a week now! What should I do now? I have an email paper trail where I'M TRYING and doing my part!
- My HTO violated his probation last month and is facing 30mths. Is there anything we can do to shorten it or get it dismissed? I November he was sentenced with 5 yrs probation for HTO. He was pulled over in May and now faces 30 months prision time. He has around 7 driving w/o a license,11 points and never has been violent. He has alot of unpaid fines do to lack of income. At the time of the arrest a small amount of meth was found on the passenger seat. He has nothing to do with drugs. The person who was riding in the passenger seat earlier that day is a known drug addict and was probably left by him but the charges are attached to the VOP. This judge likes to prove point and set examples any ideas to change this outcome.
You may be able to fill out a financial affidavit with your probation officer, documenting what your expenses and income are to prove you are unable to pay costs of supervision currently; they rarely waive them but they can if your situation is such that you simply can't pay currently. As has already been said above, if your inability to pay your costs/restitution is not wilful on your part, the court should not find you in violation, though a hearing dealing with you ability to pay may be necessary. Most judges in that situation are not going to incarcerate you for violation of probation due to a true inability to pay - but be sure you are prepared to explain your inability to get a job and your family situation. Good luck, and I would recommend, if it gets to the point where your probation officer is threatening you with a violation, that you talk to an attorney before it goes any further.
Go and camp out at the probation office in person and make sure you speak to your probation officer. You are required to meet monthly. Better to be a pest and make sure they see you in person than to wonder if you are going to be violated for missing an appointment.
A lot of what may or may not happen depends on his prior record and how it plays out on his sentencing scoresheet. That being said, just because he score 30 months in DOC does not mean that an agreement to something less, even just jail time or additional probation sanctions (maybe community control as opposed to simple probation) can't be accomplished.
As for the drugs found in his car, there are defenses available, depending on whether there were other people present in the car when stopped, and also where on the passenger seat it was found. Definitely consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area. Some jurisdictions treat DWLS charges less seriously than others - get an attorney that is familiar with the judge in your case. Best of luck to you.