7 Reasons To Avoid a Violation of Probation (VOP) and Terminate Probation As Early As Possible

Posted almost 4 years ago. Applies to Florida, 2 helpful votes



You are likely facing a Jail or Prison Sentence if You VOP

Depending on your judge, the facts of the case, and your criminal history, if you VOP, the judge may likely take the position that you are no longer a candidate for supervision and the only viable alternative is to incarcerate you. Under Florida Law you are facing the possibility of being sentenced to the maximum penalties under the law.


Increased Sentencing Points on a Felony Case in Florida

In Florida, felony sentences are determined based on the Criminal Punishment Code. You may have scored a"non-state prison" sentence on your initial open case; however, when you VOP, your sentencing points will increase. You may have been initially eligible for a probation or county jail sentence; however, you may now be facing a mandatory prison sentence under the Criminal Punishment Code.


You May Now Be Facing a Criminal Conviction if You VOP

One of the most important considerations people have when initially resolving their cases is that they are not actually convicted. While there are exceptions, usually when you are sentenced to a "Withhold of Adjudication" there is not a formal finding of guilt. Consequently, you may be able to seal your case, not lose your drivers license, or be able to write down on a job application that you have not been "convicted" of a crime. However, Florida Statute Section 948.06(2) (b) requires the court to "adjudge the probationer or offender guilty of the offense charged . . ." In other words, you are now convicted and you will lose the status of the "Withhold of Adjudication."


You are Not Entitled to a Bond while Your VOP is Pending

Most people are shocked when a VOP is filed and they find out that the law does not require them to have a bond while their VOP is pending. As a result, you may have to sit in jail for an extended period of time (sometimes weeks or months) while your case is pending. If you had a job at the time of the VOP; it has highly likely that you will lose it while you are waiting in jail.


Exposure to Searches and Seizures While on Probation

While on probation your ability to assert your rights to searches and seizures are greatly impacted. You may be subjected to testing for drugs or alcohol. You are likely subjected to unannounced visits and searches from your probation officer. This greatly enhances the possibility of a VOP.


Costs of Being on Probation

Just being supervised by the court system costs you money. Depending on your jurisdiction and type of probation, it is very likely that you are paying a minimum of $40 per month.


Inconvenience and Stigma of Being on Probation

The mere fact that you have to report to a probation officer or possibly have to go to court monthly in the case of a Drug Court Case can put a strain on your job and household. Missing work to report to your probation officer can lead to your being fired. It may also be difficult to coordinate with your spouse if child care needs must be met. Also, having to notify prospective employers or friends or acquaintances that you are on probation can be difficult or awkward.

Additional Resources

Law Office of Joseph Montrone, Jr.

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