A juvenile served a probation sentence for an Aggravated Battery conviction. A juvenile probationer must abide by certain rules in accordance with their sentence; including, obeying all school rules with no unexcused absences or late arrivals and abiding by all laws with no further criminal involvement. The juvenile disregarded the probation terms with two disciplinary school referrals and a Criminal Mischief with Property Damage arrest. The Probation Officer had the juvenile arrested and charged with Violation of Probation.
Punishment for Violating Probation in Florida
Those who violate juvenile probation can face serious consequences depending on the specifics of their case and circumstance. A violation occurs when the defendant willingly fails to comply with any terms of their probation sentence. A judge could impose a sentence to the defendant that could have originally been given before probation was established.
Should the defendant make reasonable efforts to comply with their probation terms and sentence, a violation cannot be presumed to be willful.
Length of a Juvenile’s Probation
A probation sentence is imposed on a juvenile in order to limit individual freedom and restrict activities. This sentencing is the most common type of punishment for a minor. The courts expect that the parents or guardians of the minor will make certain the juvenile completes all aspects of probation, which could include community service, abiding by all laws with no criminal involvement, or working on anger management.
Probation times vary for all individuals depending on what act was committed, and there is not a universal time frame. There are set minimum and maximum probation times, but individual times can fluctuate. Terms of the probation vary from each jurisdiction, with additional requirements added as needed to each individual case.
In addition, all conditions of an individual’s probation need to be followed before it can end. If a minor breaks the rules of their probation, a court has the right to change any probation requirements as well as revoke the current probation and reinstate a prison or jail sentence.
Juveniles that are on probation must meet with their probation officers on a regular basis. The parents or guardians of the minor are required to report any violations to the probation officer.
If a probation officer files a violation of probation with the courts, a Violation of Probation (VOP) hearing will be held. In these cases, the judge will determine if the minor has gone against their probation and will use a “preponderance of the evidence”. Allegations that are claimed against the defendant must be proved that they are true. Unless the minor has broken the law, the VOP is not a new charge against the minor. If the minor has broken the law however the judge has every right to charge them with another crime.
RESULT: The Defense Attorney evaluated all the evidence, including the proof and cost of damage in the criminal mischief case. The Defense argued that all of the evidence was circumstantial and therefore, insufficient to secure a conviction against the Client. The Attorney successfully proved to the Court that the Client had no intent to violate his probation sentence and the Judge DISMISSED the charges.