Court in Florida Looks at Probation Violations when Affidavit is Missing

As part of the penalty for being convicted of a crime, some defendants are sentenced to probation. This may be in addition to or instead of jail time. Many defendants prefer a longer term of probation over a shorter term of incarceration because they are able to live in the community. However, if a defendant is found to have violated the conditions of their probation, then they may be sentenced to serve more time in jail or prison. Probation violations are a serious matter so if you are accused of violating probation you should contact a skilled Clearwater probation violation attorney as soon as possible.

Probation in Florida

There are several different kinds of probation in Florida. The general kind of probation more or less allows defendants to live their normal lives, but requires them to check in with their probation officer periodically. Of course they must follow all laws and not engage in any criminal behavior. Along with the supervision requirements, probation often includes requirements to attend or complete programs such as drug or alcohol rehabilitation or counseling. Probation can also make certain generally lawful behaviors unlawful, such as possessing firearms or socializing with people who have criminal records.

Other kinds of probation include “community control,” which is commonly known as house arrest. For this kind of probation, of course the individual is required to stay in their home, with the possible exception of certain approved activities. Other kinds of probation include drug offender and sex offender probation, which include specific requirements and supervision related to the types crimes that were committed. For example, drug offender probation includes periodic drug tests.

Missing Evidence

The Third District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida recently heard a probation revocation case. In this case, a defendant plead guilty to a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. He was sentenced to a year of prison and two years of community control followed by two years of general probation. As part of the conditions of probation, he was required to follow the law. Within a day after signing his probation order, the defendant was arrested again. According to the prosecution, an affidavit of probation violation was filed. They alleged that two conditions of the defendant’s community control were violated as he was arrested for battery and resisting arrest with violence.

To make their case, the state frequently referred to the affidavit of probation being in the record. However, the court noted that the affidavit was not in the record. The trial court nonetheless held that the defendant violated his probation and sentenced him to 18 months in prison and six months of probation. Though the appeals court noted that there also was no written order of community control revocation in the record.

The appeals court in this case pointed out that the law is clear that any probation violation has to be alleged in the affidavit of violation of probation. Therefore, as there is no affidavit of violation in the record in this case, the appeals court cannot determine whether the probation revocation was appropriate. Thus, they remanded the case back to the lower court to try to locate the affidavit.

Contact an Experienced Clearwater Probation Violation Defense Attorney Today!

Defendants that are charged with violating probation may be facing significant jail time. The probation violation defense attorneys at Hanlon Law Firm can help you to make the case to the court that your probation should not be revoked. Contact us online or call our offices at (727) 897-5413 to speak with our skilled attorneys about your case.

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