OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER 12th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT of FLORIDA LARRY L. EGER, Public Defender Serving, DeSoto, Manatee, & Sarasota Counties

Probation & Violations of Probation

Probation is a type of sentence where an offender is supervised by the Court through the Probation Department for a specified period of time. During this period of time, the offender is ordered to do certain things. These are called “conditions.” The most common conditions of probation are not committing a new criminal offense, doing community service hours, passing drug testing, completing some type of class, and the paying of fines and court costs. However, there could be other conditions ordered, depending on your charge.

Violations of probation occur when a person who is placed on probation allegedly fails to do one of the conditions ordered by the Court. If this happens, the probation officer fills out an affidavit and the Court issues a warrant for the person’s arrest.

You are not entitled to a bond amount for a violation of probation charge. In fact, if it is a misdemeanor vop the bond could be no bond or a high amount.  If your are arrested for a felony vop, it is almost always a no bond situation.  Also, “technical” violations of probation (anything other than a new law accusation), such as not completing a class or not reporting are still violations of your probation, and you can be sentenced up to the maximum provided by law for the charge that you are on probation for.

It is important to maintain communication with your probation officer and continue to complete any of the terms of your probation as this could mitigate any sentence a court may want to impose.

The violation of probation is heard in the same court as the original offense that placed the offender on probation.

For felony violations of probation in Sarasota and Manatee counties, there is an early court resolution date set about three weeks after your arrest.  It is an opportunity to admit to the Court that you violated probation and hopefully not require you to remain in custody.  If you remain in custody after this court date, you will be given a violation of probation hearing date in front of the same court division as the original offense.

Championing the accused with the utmost professionalism and humanity