Violation of Probation (VOP) and Community Control
Probation (or its stricter cousin, community control) is a type of criminal sanction or penalty that amounts to a period of time a defendant is under supervision of the judicial system, and required to live up to certain conditions to remain out of custody. If probation is ordered, there will almost always be a probation officer assigned to supervise the probationer, and assure all conditions are adhered to. Probation can be ordered for many reasons, it is sometimes in lieu of incarceration, and sometimes it is in addition to incarceration.
Details on the VOP Process
The conditions of probation vary greatly from case to case and defendant to defendant. For many crimes, such as DUI, most conditions are statutorily mandated, and must be imposed by the court upon conviction of the crime. In any case, violating conditions of probation can result in a new, formal charge of Violation of Probation (VOP), which can in turn subject the probationer to additional criminal penalties, including incarceration.
Probation officers usually begin VOP process by swearing out an affidavit that alleges probation conditions have been violated. Some of these allegations can seem somewhat niggling (e.g. failing to notify the officer of an address change or change of employment) and some are more clearly significant violations (committing a new offense, or “absconding” from probation altogether).
Once the affidavit is filed, the accused will be given an opportunity to appear in court to admit or deny the VOP. If the VOP is denied, the court will order an evidentiary hearing to determine if the violation occurred. If the VOP is admitted, or the court finds the violation, the court is free to modify, revoke, or continue the probation.
Competent Legal Assistance You Need
The burden of proof required to find someone in violation is much lower than an original crime. This does not mean, however, that an attorney cannot be of significant assistance to someone who is facing a VOP.
From early contact with the probation officer and/or prosecutor, and careful handling of the case if it reaches the judge, a lawyer experienced with probation violations in Pinellas, Pasco, or Hillsborough Counties can mean the difference between having the probation continued (or even discharged) and facing extended period of time incarcerated.
If you have any questions about violations of probation or community control, contact Edward Panzica at 727-588-0966.
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Edward M. Panzica
has 30 years' legal practice experience.
Visit the Law Offices of Edward M. Panzica today for a FREE initial consultation to discuss your probation or VOP offense.