Individuals charged with a crime in Clearwater have a right to due process under the state and federal constitutions. Due process includes the right to be adequately informed of the basis of any crimes or violations with which a defendant is charged. The right to due process does not end when a defendant is convicted but extends to sentencing hearings and violation of parole proceedings. Recently, a Florida appellate court addressed the due process requirements of probation violation proceedings, in a case in which an order finding a violation was reversed. If you live in Clearwater and are charged with a violation of the terms of your probation, it is critical to retain a skilled Clearwater probation violation defense attorney to fight to preclude any evidence the state should not be permitted to introduce at your trial.
Facts of the Case
Reportedly, the defendant was charged with violating three of the terms of his probation. The first violation was for allegedly failing to comply with the requirement that the defendant must report to his probation officer, the second violation was for moving without notifying his probation officer and obtaining his consent, and the third violation was for committing a new criminal offense. A hearing was held after which his probation was revoked, and a sentence was imposed. The defendant appealed, arguing that his right to due process was violated during the hearing.
Due Process in Probation Violation Hearings
In Florida, the right to due process in criminal proceedings extends to cases in which violation of probation cases. To comply with the due process requirements, the probation order must place the probationer on adequate notice of the conduct that is prohibited and required during the probationary period. Additionally, if a violation of probation has allegedly been committed, both the affidavit of the violation and the court’s finding that a violation has been committed must mirror the language of the probation terms. Thus, terms that are not set forth in the conditions of probation cannot form the basis of an alleged violation of probation.