Probation violations are governed by Florida Statute § 948.06. Oftentimes when someone is adjudicated guilty of a crime, the court will place that defendant on probation in lieu of sentencing him or her to jail time immediately. If the defendant complies with all of the terms of probation and successfully completes probation, then jail time will not be an issue.
However, if, while on probation a defendant violates any of the terms of his or her probation, jail time becomes a very real possibility.
Because probation is viewed as a second chance, a violation of probation is governed by a unique set of rules that work to create an extreme disadvantage to the person charged with violating probation. A violation of probation hearing may be treated as a separate, mini-trial, with the following MAJOR distinctions:
The burden of proof for the State reduced from beyond a reasonable doubt to preponderance of the evidence – 50% plus a feather. This makes it very easy for the State to prove their case.
There is no entitlement to a jury trial for a violation of probation hearing.
Every violation of probation hearing is heard by a judge only.
Hearsay is admissible.
A defendant adjudicated guilty of violating his or her probation may be sentenced up to the maximum amount under their original charges.
If you need legal counsel concerning probation violation, please contact Ben Bollinger at the number to the left or below. A Panama City native with a law practice in Bay County since 1996, Ben Bollinger is familiar with the intricacies of local law and dedicated to providing top-notch defense against criminal charges.