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As opposed to requiring a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the evidence need only satisfy the court's conscience that you violated probation. However, before your probation can be violated, the State must prove that you willfully violated probation and that the violation was "substantial".
The Violation of Probation Affidavit
The affidavit is the charging document in a VOP case the same way that an information or indictment serves as the charging document in the case of a new law violation. It is a violation of an individual's due process rights for the court to revoke probation based upon allegations which are not contained in the charging affidavit. Additionally, the basis alleged violation of probation must have occurred after the time that the individual was placed on probation by the court.
Bond in VOP cases
Most people who are charged with a felony VOP are not granted bond by the magistrate court and are instead held at the main jail until their case can be heard by the court. Despite this, VOP defense lawyer Antonio Quinn can still set the matter down for an earlier hearing where bond can be requested.
Defendant Testifying in VOP Cases
At a violation of probation hearing, a person is not protected by the 5th Amendment. If a person refuses to answer a question then the judge can use their silence to infer that a violation of probation occurred.
Search and Seizure
The Florida Supreme Court has stated that the exclusionary rule is applicable to VOP hearings and that any evidence gathered in violation of a probationer's Constitutionally protected rights will be excluded from an evidentiary hearing, however a person on probation is not afforded all of the same Constitutional rights as an ordinary citizen. Unlike an ordinary citizen, when a person is on probation, their probation officer can insist that they submit to reasonable searches of their home, person or property without the requirement of first obtaining a warrant. Anything discovered during such a search can be admissible in a violation of probation hearing.
Antonio D. Quinn, Esq. represents individuals who would like to petition the court for early termination of their probation. Most people qualify for early termination after one half of their original sentence has been served. Early termination is never self-executing meaning that a person must always motion the court through their attorney for early termination of their probation.
To schedule a case evaluation with an aggressive and experienced violation of probation defense attorney, contact Quinn Law, P.A. at (954) 463-0440.