Varinia Van Ness’s Answers

Varinia Van Ness

Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney.

Contributor Level 7
  1. POINT SYSTEM USED IN FLORIDA

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Darren Mark Finebloom
    2. Marc F. Plotnick
    3. Varinia Van Ness
    3 lawyer answers

    Another useful thing that a lawyer should always do is carefully review with the client the "prior criminal history" alleged in the scoresheet. Sometimes, offenses are included that are not the client's. Also, if it's an out of state prior, be sure that the "crime" is score as what it is in Florida, not the other state. Sometimes, this can lower the score and save the client from going to prison if the points get below 44.

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

    6 people marked this answer as helpful

  2. I have a VOP hearing from grand theft for failure to pay restiution, court date is in three weeks.

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Varinia Van Ness
    2. David Bradley Dohner
    3. Lazaro Grael Blanco
    4. Daniel Marc Berman
    4 lawyer answers

    Since you have already been violated, there is not much you can do to stop that. However, just because you have been violated does not mean that the judge will find you guilty of a violation of probation. Before you can be found guilty of a violation of probation, the state has to prove that you had the ability to pay and did not pay. They have to prove that it was substantial and willful. Sounds like you have already paid a lot of money, so it can be argued not substantial. Also, when the...

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  3. What do you think could be the possiblle outcome of pleading not guilty to grand theft third degree?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. John Skyler Riordan
    2. Varinia Van Ness
    3. Robert Jason De Groot
    3 lawyer answers

    The outcome is that after a not guilty plea, the case progresses through discovery, depositions and ultimately trial for the state to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt with legally obtained evidence the charges. You are presumed innocent unless the state can overcome that presumption. Hire a lawyer that knows what they are doing and is aggressive to represent you. The burden lies with the State.

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. Can an alleged victim use his/her fifth amendment right in FL state

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Laurence Jay Smith
    2. Varinia Van Ness
    3. David T. Lopez
    3 lawyer answers

    Interesting question...if it's a victim...why would the victim incriminate him/herself? Unless, the victim is not really a victim and it's a situation where there is mutual combat or an issue of self-defense. Keep in mind that if the State Attorney issues the "alleged victim" an investigative subpoena, immunity is automatically given to the "witness" and their words cannot be used against them and no evidence derived from their testimony can be used against them. So...be very careful and...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

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  5. I went to court and the judge did not have my police report so i got another date what will happen if they still dont have it?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. James O Davis Jr.
    2. Varinia Van Ness
    3. James Regan
    4. John Wesley Hall Jr.
    4 lawyer answers

    Typically, after arrest, he will have first appearance where the judge will decide if he can bond out or not. Most jurisdiction in Florida, depending on the judge, do not grant bond on a Violation of probation when it involves a new law violation. However, it should not matter that the judge does not have the police report because the mechanism for a violation of probation is a violation of probation affidavit prepared by the new arresting officer or the probation officer. The new violation...

  6. Can I ask the court to transfer me from probation to a civil lien in Florida?

    Answered over 2 years ago.

    1. Stewart Valencia
    2. David Bradley Dohner
    3. Varinia Van Ness
    3 lawyer answers

    It all depends on your ability to pay and the amount of time left on probation. If you are not able to pay the amount ordered, you will have to show what your expenses are and do a motion to modify the probation. If you do not have the ability to pay, and the time for probation ends, then even if they violate you for not paying, the State has to show that it was willful. Not having the ability to pay does not make it willful. By the same token, if restitution was ordered and the victim...

  7. What happens if i miss a court date in sarasota fl?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Darren Mark Finebloom
    2. Varinia Van Ness
    3. Alexander Barrett Ramey
    3 lawyer answers

    If there is already a bench warrant, the only way to get that taken off is by the Judge. Which means you have to petition the court to set aside the bench warrant. Usually you need to do this via a motion or via a letter with copy of the letter to the State Attorney. Your charges may not be serious, but your Failure to Appear is, so do not think it is not serious. A failure to appear can bring serious future consequences if you are ever in trouble again, such as a denial of bond or a higher...

  8. What does Final Probation Revocation Hearing mean?

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Varinia Van Ness
    2. Michael Christopher Grieco
    2 lawyer answers

    A probation revocation hearing sounds like someone was on probation and there is a violation for which there needs to be a hearing. In Florida, typically on a violation of probation the person will be arrested and they have to have an arraignment and then the case moves to a hearing. At the hearing, the State has to prove that the probationer violated his or her probation by a preponderance of the evidence, as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt, as is with a law violation. If the...

  9. What does the sentecing carry for armed robbery in florida

    Answered over 4 years ago.

    1. Jennifer Ann Jacobs
    2. Varinia Van Ness
    3. Michael Christopher Grieco
    3 lawyer answers

    If it is armed with a firearm, as opposed to a weapon (knife), then the minimum mandatory is 10 years if the firearm was used, but not discharged. If the firearm was discharged then the minimum mandatory is 20 years. Kill someone while commiting the robbery and the mandatory sentence is life. So, it's important to know what kind of weapon it was.

  10. Underage Drinking

    Answered about 6 years ago.

    1. Varinia Van Ness
    2. Daniel Martin Jaffe
    2 lawyer answers

    Once you unequivocally request a lawyer, all questioning must immediately cease. Any information gathered from you without a lawyer is suppressable. Did you answer any questions about whether you had been drinking or not? The State could try to prove the case against you based on observations made by the officer, such as acting drunk or breath smelled like alcoholic beverage. Keep in mind that alcohol does not smell, it's the mixture. Did your friends provide testimony against you? Ie: "I...

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    1 person marked this answer as helpful

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