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Expertise - Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in West Palm Beach

Probation Violations

Are you being charged, in Palm Beach County, Florida with Violation of Probation? Need a violation of probation defense attorney or VOP defense lawyer in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens or Boynton Beach? We are probation defense attorneys located in West Palm Beach. When you are arrested for violating your probation, it is important to hire a Criminal lawyer that understands and practices in the area of probation violations. We can defend both your new law violations and any technical violation of probation. Don’t hire a lawyer that dabbles in criminal defense; hire a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer that has extensive experience in defending probation charges. Your probation attorney or probation lawyer needs to have knowledge and experience in all aspects of probation violations but also needs to know the prosecutors, judges and court staff. Knowing the players comes from years of being inside the courtroom. Finding the best probation attorney in Palm Beach County, for your case, is difficult. You need to review their educational background, experience in criminal cases, their reputation in the community, and their ability to communicate with you, the client. The quality of the criminal defense attorney you hire to defend your violations of probation case is extremely important. The standard of proof on a violation of probation is reduced and you need someone that can handle themselves in the courtroom. We ask that you consider our South Florida Probation Defense Lawyers. Attorney Roger P. Foley has offices in Broward County, and Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and in West Palm Beach respectively. Mr. Foley has defended hundreds of individuals charged with violations of probation. Hire an experience VOP lawyer.

Palm Beach Gardens probation defense lawyers, Royal Palm Beach violation of probation defense attorneys, Delray violation of probation defense attorneys are available now to defend your case. We have defended individuals charged with technical violations of probation in Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, North Palm Beach, Wellington and Juno Beach. Any substantive or new law violation of probation must be handled with care.

Whether you committed a crime, had a bad attorney, or pled guilty based on your financial situation or some other reasoning, the fact is that you pled guilty or no contest to a crime in Palm Beach, Florida. Now weeks, months or years later, you are accused of violating the conditions of probation and need legal assistance.

The first thing that you should know is that regardless of the reason you are on probation you cannot litigate the original case that placed you on probation; the time to litigate that case has come and gone. The only thing you can litigate in regards to the violation of probation is whether or not you violated the conditions of probation as set out by the court and the Department of Corrections.

Have You Violated Your Probation (VOP)?

When you are placed on probation in Palm Beach County, you must adhere to strict guidelines or terms for a set amount of time after being adjudicated of a criminal offense. Whether the court withheld adjudication or adjudicated you guilty, you were placed on probation. Accordingly, there are rules that you must adhere to. Failure to adhere to those rules will result in an alleged violation. If these conditions are violated, you can face the maximum penalties for the crime for which the probation was set. Conditions for probation may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reporting to your assigned probation officer as scheduled;
  • Appearing in court when scheduled;
  • Attending court-ordered counseling or drug/alcohol abuse classes;
  • Not associating with known criminals or organizations;
  • No new arrests for a new criminal offense;
  • Mandatory drug testing;
  • Sexual offender registration;
  • ***And any and all requests made by your probation officer.

The terms of probation vary depending on the crime and the type of probation that is ordered. For example, community control is assigned as a term of probation, where you are required to remain in your home (house arrest) and report to your community control officer as you would a probation officer. Leaving your residence will be a violation of probation in Palm Beach and will subject you to possible imprisonment.

Other types of probation include: administrative (mail-in) probation for less serious offenses, sex offender probation and drug offender probation.

Probation is generally divided into two types: Felony Probation and Misdemeanor Probation. Felony probation is for more serious crimes, as opposed to Misdemeanor crimes that have a maximum penalty of up to 365 days in county jail.

If you are caught violating your probation, the court will determine if it was a substantive violation, meaning that you have been arrested for another crime, or a technical violation, such as a positive drug test, a failure to report to your probation officer, or a failure to pay the probationary fees.

If you have violated either your probation or community control guidelines, you could be subject to immediate arrest by a law enforcement officer once a warrant has been issued. If you have been charged, immediately contact a Palm Beach County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you avoid jail and other serious consequences.

When a warrant has been issued following a probation violation, you will still have an opportunity to fight the charges. If a prosecutor proves that you committed a willful violation of your probation or community control, you could be subject to the sentence for the original charge for which you were placed on probation. This could potentially lead to years in prison if the matter is not handled properly.

Once a warrant is signed for your arrest, you are required to surrender yourself to the jail. Mr. Foley will file a motion for in-court surrender on your violation of probation. This motion is a request to the judge for a court date without first surrendering you to the jail. Granting of this motion is at the discretion of the judge, however, if granted, it will not be necessary for you to surrender to the jail prior to the court date. This is particularly important when it normally takes days or weeks to get a court date on a VOP in Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach Law Firm of Roger P. Foley will make every effort to prevent clients from spending time incarcerated.

A court hearing will be held following an arrest or probation violation. The experienced criminal defense lawyers from The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley can aggressively defend you at this hearing and will take the necessary steps to attempt to have your probation or community control terms reinstated. The firm offers a free 15 minute case strategy; call today to discuss your case!

For the Florida Statute chapter regarding probation violations, see §948, Fla. Stat. (2009).

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Probation Violation?

Absolutely. You face the maximum amount of time on the charge you were initially arrested on if you are found guilty of the violation. For example, if you were arrested for Possession of Cocaine, placed on probation for 2 years and violated, you would be facing a maximum of 5 years. The reason is because a Possession of Cocaine, is a third-degree felony with a maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison. The burden of proof on a violation is preponderance of evidence which means that judge has to only believe fifty one percent that you violated your probation and you lose. This is a very tricky area of criminal defense so don’t hire some attorney that dabbles in criminal defense because it’s your freedom on the line. Hire an experience probation attorney.

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost for a Probation Violation?

In Florida, probation violations start at $1,500 and go up to $5,000. It is rare that it is more expensive than five thousand dollars but we have had very serious cases that the client needed experts or depositions. It all depends on the complexity. For example, if you failed a drug test then you may consider retaining an expert, you may need to depose the lab technicians that tested the blood or urine sample, or attack the chain of custody (where was the sample stored and who was in control of it?). There is a lot to lose on a violation of probation so your attorney has to be creative and experienced with probation violations. Again, most cases range between $1500-$5,000.

What are Some Probation Violations?

There are two types of probation violations. Technical violations and New Law violations. A new violation means that you were charged with a new crime while on probation. Arrested for dui, trespass, domestic violence, any new arrest. Everything else is a technical violation, ie. failed to complete treatment, failed to complete conditions of probation, did not pay fines or fees, tested positive for drugs, left the jurisdiction without permission, etc.

How Long can They Hold You in Jail for Probation Violation?

Most probation violators are held without a bond. An attorney can often request a court hearing within a week in an effort to resolve your case. An attorney can request a bond but it is the discretion of the judge if he/she grants it. Each judge and court house handles this differently, however the general premise is don’t count on a bond on a VOP as you are fortunate if the judge grants a bond on a violation of probation. Our office has had them granted several times but also denied. You can usually receive a first violation of probation hearing within a week, depends on judge’s schedule, however if you are not given a bond you have two choices: 1. Admit the violation and accept the penalty negotiated between your attorney and prosecutor which may or not allow you to be immediately released or 2. Set the case for a final violation of probation hearing. If your attorney is successful he/she can get you reinstated but there may be additional probation time or additional requirements. You could be given an ankle monitor, additional community service, additional months or years added to your probation but the biggest challenge is the withhold of adjudication you previously received may be changed to a conviction. If convicted then you are labeled “a convicted felon” with no right to vote or possess firearms. It is a delicate matter. Depending on your facts you may resolve it at first hearing or elect to go to a final hearing. If you have a final hearing and you were not granted a bond, then you will remain in custody which can affect your employment and housing situations. Final VOP hearings are usually set on the calendar thirty (30) days out. Nobody wants to sit in jail for 30 days and this is a problem as some innocent people may accept the violation and added conditions because they can’t afford to sit in jail and lose their job. Discuss your facts and options with an experienced probation violation attorney.

Can a Probation Violation be Dismissed?

Yes, Of course. All violations must be deemed willful. For example, if you receive a technical violation for failing to pay costs of probation or restitution we can argue to the court that you did not have the finances to pay. If you don’t have the means to pay then the court cannot find you guilty of the violation. Other examples, may be that you have not completed certain conditions of probation at time of violation but are able to complete them prior to arrest, or hearing and the state can recommend dismissal. Obviously, the main defense is you can go on the merits of the case and show that you did not violate. Keep in mind, the system is against you if you request a final hearing and lose, the penalty is usually more severe than your first offer received by the prosecutor.

How Do you Fight a Probation Violation?

You do everything not to violate but if you do then you hire an experienced attorney that has handled lots of violations. Attorney Roger P. Foley has been representing clients for 15 years in Violation of Probation hearings. The keys to a violation are the facts, are the facts being misrepresented? Was the new arrest legal? Often on a new arrest, we must fight the new charge first. If the new arrest case can be dismissed then most of the time the state will dismiss the violation. Keep in mind this is generally true, I have had prosecutors say the burden of proof in the new case is beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt, a high standard, but proving the violation means I, the prosecutor, only have to convince the judge a little over 50% that the defendant violated and your client is gone. Accordingly, it’s not a foregone conclusion that a VOP is dismissed if your new charge is dismissed.

Do you Automatically Go to Jail for Violating Probation?
Great question. 90 percent of time you will be arrested and held in custody for some time. The time in custody depends on whether judge agrees to a bond, or whether your attorney can negotiate a resolution with the judge or prosecutor and whether you are going to final hearing on a Violation of Probation. If our client has not been arrested, our law office contacts the probation officer and the assigned prosecutor to come to a resolution before you are arrested. If they agree, we file a motion asking for a court date so to avoid you not entering the jail. If the case is agreed upon by prosecutor and defense counsel, it’s worked out, then the judge will likely allow the in-court surrender but there are judges that say, no. As you can now understand, probation violations need to be handled by experienced probation violation attorneys. These are seious matters.

Contact a Palm Beach County Probation Violation Attorney at The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley if you have been charged with probation or community control violations in the Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach areas.

Click on the following reviews to see what clients are saying about us
Client Reviews
I was charged with Domestic Violence few years ago and I was referred to Roger Foley from a family member! Roger is a BULLDOG! He was great and very aggressive in helping me beat this bogus case. Case was dismissed! He was on top of everything until the end!! Thomas
My wife (Mother of Stepson) and I Hired Mr Foley to represent my stepson in a minor criminal case. We would highly recommend as it is obvious to us That Mr Foley Genuinely cares and wants to do the Best he can for you which he did for us. Also has a great rapport with all parties in the courtroom..... Steve
Roger P. Foley got me reinstated. Also he got my COS waived, and got me to still be terminated off of probation on my expected termination date. I feel very comfortable with the decision my lawyer made for me. Also I would refer him to anyone who has a criminal felony or misdemeanor case. Jamar
Roger is a very compassionate person, he truly cares about his clients. He helped me with my case and was there for me every step of the way even if it was just reassurance that I needed. I would recommend him to anyone, he is absolutely the best! Cassandra G.
I think your firm did a great job on 3 cases that were 28 years old. The results are better than expected. I truly appreciate the hard work that you and your firm put forth in obtaining the results that we did on this case. Jim