When a domestic violence defendant is convicted of a domestic abuse offense in Florida, part of their sentence may include probation. Probation is an alternative punishment that permits you to fulfill your sentence outside of jail or prison. It fulfills three functions: public safety, victim restoration, and offender rehabilitation.
A probation violation may result in fresh criminal charges even if one rule is broken. If you or a loved one have been convicted of a domestic violence crime in the state of Florida, or have violated the terms of probation, you may be facing multiple penalties. In a typical criminal case, you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, keep in mind that in a violation of probation case, the same rights and criteria that were previously followed do not have to be met. The prosecuting attorney only needs evidence (which can include hearsay) that you likely violated your probation. If you are found guilty of the violation, you will face the maximum penalty for the original offense. It is possible for a probation violation to be dropped with the assistance of an expert domestic violence defense attorney, as all violations must be supported by proper evidence.
Consequences for Violation of Probation in Florida
Probation violations can occur if your parole officer (or the court) judges you have knowingly and materially breached your probation terms in any material way (Florida Statutes 948.06). If there is even a remote possibility that you broke your probation, a law enforcement officer or the court may arrest you. The following are the most prevalent activities that result in a probation violation:
- Being arrested for a second offense (such as domestic violence)
- Refusal to submit to a drug or alcohol test
- Failure to have a negative drug or alcohol screening result
- Failure to pay restitution as ordered by the court
- Failure to notify the court of a change of address
- Failure to appear before your probation officer without a good reason or prior notification
What Happens if the Victim Recants Allegations of Assault in Florida?
When it comes to a battery charge in Florida, if the victim comes out and says, "I do not want these charges to go forward," the state's choice is heavily influenced. In Florida, however, the prosecutor, not the victim, is the one who pursues the accusations. The victim has no power to persuade the state to dismiss the charges, but their input can go a long way. In domestic violence battery cases involving family, a large majority of the victims recant their statements. When this happens, the state attorney will almost always continue to prosecute the case for the safety of the alleged victim. If the victim recants their statement, and there is a lack of evidence of assault, the State will likely not press charges against the alleged abuser. If the defendant was on probation at the time of their domestic violence arrest and the victim later recants their statement, the violation of probation will likely not go forward with a convicton. Learn more about if a domestic violence victim has the ability to drop charges here.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony While on Probation in Florida
A simple domestic battery is almost certainly a misdemeanor. If the victim of domestic abuse is pregnant, however, the accusation will be upgraded to a felony. The offense becomes a felony if there are any aggravated elements, such as aggravated battery.
If the new charge is a misdemeanor, the probation officer has the authority to determine how to proceed. The following are some of the considerations while determining whether or not to file a petition to revoke your probation:
- What is the new charge
- Your actions at the time of the arrest
- Whether you were truthful about the charge
- The connection between the new arrest and the reason you're on probation
If you're on probation and you're charged with a crime such as domestic violence, the officer may have no choice but to submit a petition to revoke your probation. A Palm Beach County domestic violence defense attorney may be able to get you released and assist you in fighting any charges. If you are not convicted, your probation officer is unlikely to revoke your probation.
Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Palm Beach County
A knowledgeable domestic violence defense lawyer can explain your rights and work to resolve domestic disputes and violent crime charges as soon as possible. Call a West Palm Beach domestic violence lawyer today at 561-671-5995 or contact us online.