Violation of Probation Lawyer for Pinellas County
Many people agree to probation thinking it will be in their best interest to resolve the criminal case quickly. After starting probation, the person realizes that completing all the terms of probation are difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Even a small technical mistake can lead to an arrest or incarceration if the probation officer alleges a violation of the terms.
If you were placed on either felony or misdemeanor probation in the courtroom in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you believe your probation officer may issue an affidavit and request a "no bond" warrant for your arrest.
The Judges and State Attorney's Office for Pinellas County takes a harsh stance in most VOP cases. Find out more about how VOP cases are handled including important procedural protections and defenses that may help you resolve your case for the best possible result.
If you live outside of Florida, an extradition warrant may be issued for your arrest - read more about how to avoid extradition to Clearwater, Pinellas County, on a felony violation of probation warrant.
Misdemeanor Probation Violations
Even a misdemeanor offense such as DUI, driving while license suspended, or domestic battery can result in probation to pay restitution, complete classes, perform community service and pay fines and court costs. The judges in Pinellas County often issue "no bond" warrants for the probationer's arrest after the probation officer submit a violation of probation affidavit. These VOP cases often clog the court's dockets.
Hiring a private attorney to handle a misdemeanor violation of probation case has many advantages. The attorney can contact the assistant state attorney that will handle the case to discuss ways to resolve the case or setting a reasonable bond which must be approved by the judge.
Alternatively, a private attorney can also represent the person accused at the first appearance after the arrest or to schedule an emergency bond hearing. While the probationer is waiting for the warrant to be entered, the attorney can help the probationer complete any outstanding conditions so that he or she quickly comes into compliance with the terms.
The courts often appreciate the probationer's efforts to resolve the case quickly and come into compliance with outstanding conditions. By working with an attorney you are often in the best position to explain to the judge why all special conditions can be met if the probationer is given additional time. Violation of probation cases are handled differently in the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater, Florida. Call to speak to an attorney about the facts of your case.
Felony Probation Violation Cases in Pinellas County, Florida
Circuit Court Judge Frank Quesada presides over the vast majority of felony violation of probation cases in Pinellas County. For individuals labeled as a "violent felon of special concern" a dangerousness hearing often takes at least two weeks to schedule. Circuit Court Judge Frank Quesada estimates that between 400 to 500 violators a year receive "no bond" because of the "violent felon" status in Pinellas County, FL.
At the Sammis Law Firm we understand how felony violation of probation cases are handled in Pinellas County. Many people wonder if they really need an attorney in a violation of probation case. Since the court often has the complete discretion to send you to prison for the statutory maximum period allowed - five years on a third degree felony, fifteen years on a second degree felony, or thirty years on a first degree felony - having an attorney present all mitigation in the case or negotiate a better disposition is critical.
Florida's Anti-Murder Act in Pinellas County for Clearwater, FL
Perhaps no new legislation has impacted violation of probation cases more then the Florida Anti-Murder Act. Read a recent news story from January 9, 2011, Florida's Anti-Murder Act in Pinellas County for Clearwater, which discusses the problems with Florida's anti-murder act. All jurisdictions throughout Florida, including in Pinellas County, must automatically deny bond to any individual charged with even a small technical violations of probation if that individual is tagged as a "violent felon of special concern."
Recent news story tracks a felony violation of probation in Pinellas County with Circuit Judge Frank Quesada and explains that the "dangerousness" hearings take weeks to schedule to give the state and defense time to subpoena witnesses and prepare their case. The violation of probation division for Pinellas County in Clearwater, FL, handles "technical" probation violations and arrests on new misdemeanor offenses but does not include any new arrest for a felony charge.
Contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to find out more about a "no bond" warrant in a violation of probation case that falls under the requirements of Florida's Anti-Murder Act.
Order of Probation
After being placed on probation read the Order of Probation carefully. Regardless of what your probation officer tells you, follow each requirement set out in the order of probation religiously. If you are required to perform at least 8 hours of community service each month, then complete at least 8 hours of community service each month. No matter what your probation officer tells you, make sure you follow all written requirements exactly.
Some people report that their probation officer gives them extra time to complete the terms of probation or indicates that no violation will occur if they are behind in completing certain requirement of probation. It is never safe to rely on a promise from a probation officer unless the judge modifies the terms of probation in writing to match that promise. In fact, probation officers will often quit their job or are transferred to another position. A promise made by one probation officer may quickly be broken by the next probation officer that takes over your case.
Early Termination of Probation in Pinellas County
Not only should you follow the order of probation, but you should also strive to comply with all special conditions of probation by the half way point so that you can apply for Early Termination of Probation. Contact an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss a petition for early termination of probation for any case in Clearwater or Pinellas County, FL.
If you think the probation officer will alleged that you violated a standard or special condition of probation, then act quickly to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Pinellas County Probation Resources
Pinellas County Misdemeanor Probation Office - The Salvation Army Correctional Services runs the Misdemeanor Probation Program for Pinellas County, Florida, with offices in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
Clearwater's Misdemeanor Probation Office
Criminal Justice Center, Room 1400, 1st Floor
14250 49th Street North
Clearwater, FL 33762
Phone number: (727) 464-6250
855 S. Highland Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33756
Phone number: (727) 442-8150
South County Misdemeanor Probation Program for Pinellas County
4950 34th St. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33714
Phone number; (727) 520-1206
Information on probation violations from the Clerk of the Circuit Court - The Clerk of the Circuit Court for Pinellas County is run by Ken Burke. Find out more about how to resolve a violation of probation case, including information on avoiding extradition to Florida on a fugitive warrant for absconding.
Administrative Order for Amended Violations of Felony Probation or Community Control - Read the administrative order that was issued in 2007 to address local rules for resolving violation of probation and community control cases including rules for notice to appear forms, technical probation violations, and new arrest cases in St. Petersburg or Clearwater, Florida for Pinellas County.