Devon Charles Lochte, the younger brother of Olympian, reality TV character and UF alumnus Ryan Lochte, was arrested Tuesday by Alachua County Sheriff’s deputies for a violation of probation after a urine sample tested positive for chemicals found in marijuana.
What are my options if I Violate My Probation in Florida?
Our Probation Violation Attorneys explain that in Florida, probation is a form of community supervision, where a person who is convicted is allowed to stay at home, work, study, and so on as long as they meet certain specified terms of their probation. These terms typically include having to stay in touch with the probation officer on a regular basis.
Is community control another name for house arrest in Broward County and is it available to underage offenders?
Yes, House Arrest is available to both adults and Juvenile Offenders.
House arrest in Florida is also called community control. It is a sentence that is given to certain criminal offenders in lieu of a prison term. Sometimes the court might sentence a person to a mix of prison term and house arrest. House arrest is less expensive for the state as the person under house arrest is expected to pay for most of the costs involved.
Our Probation Violation Lawyers in Broward County are available to discuss defenses to allegations of VOPs in South Florida.
A person under house arrest or community control in Florida can continue to live in their primary residence, travel to work, school, place of worship, hospital, and to visit the probation officer. However, they can do so only with the prior approval of the probation officer whom they need to meet each week.
Article on violations of community control published in the Broward Criminal Lawyer Online Magazine.
Community Control in Florida is a type of house arrest that is supervised by officers and/or by electronic monitoring. The offender’s freedom is restricted within a home, a community, or non-institutional residence, with certain imposed and enforceable sanctions. Community control is mainly a prison diversion program, however, it can also include probation program for sex offenders. Continue reading “Community Control Electronic Monitoring”
Following sentencing in a criminal case, a defendant, by and through his or her criminal defense attorney may be placed on criminal probation. In ordinary circumstances, the defendant may be required to meet with the probation officer once a month, or more frequently in some cases. In some situations, the defendant may also be placed on a non-reporting probation, which does not require him or her to meet with the probation officer. Our Broward County Probation Violation Lawyers always motion the court for non-reporting probation on behalf of our clients where appropriate.
At the end of the criminal probation period, typically the defendant is required to show that he or she complied with the conditions of the probation. The defendant’s record will also be checked for any instances of further criminal activity. Criminal attorneys can offer legal advice to the defendants to help them meet the terms of probation appropriately. DUI cases in Broward County require that certain special conditions be met before completion of the term.
Many criminal cases “plea out.” Of those that go to trial, they are for varying reasons, according to Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore. Some criminal cases are great for going to trial due to the underlying facts or the conviction with with a defendant believes he is innocent or unfairly arrested. For example, when a person asserts total innocence, or when a defendant was targeted or harassed by police officers, these are better for going to trial. Likewise, when the plea agreements offered by assistant state attorneys are not good, or are not agreements the defendant would be willing to consider, trial is the best option. In some instances, a defendant may want to take a plea agreement or it may be in his best interest to do so. For example, if a store caught the defendant on video switching the tags on expensive articles of clothing before purchasing them, it may be best to plea to the lesser offense of petit theft rather than grand theft. That way, the defendant does not risk near-certain conviction by the judge or jury without knowing the consequences in terms of sentencing. It may be in a defendant’s best interests to plead guilty or no contest in a case where he or she is unable or unwilling to do any jail time, because the defense attorney may be able to work out a plea deal with the state attorney that involves probation, classes such as anger management, or community service in lieu of time in jail. The availability of these alternatives depends on many factors, including the severity of the charge(s) and the defendant’s criminal history, if any. So what makes a good plea agreement? The answer, from a criminal defense attorney’s perspective, is one that the client thinks is reasonably fair and which he can accomplish. For example, probation is not desirable nor possible for all defendants. If an individual is a frequent drug user, perhaps, or a long rap sheet, probation is not always the best solution, especially when it goes on for long periods of time. Unfortunately, violating probation can cause more problems and result in jail or prison time, so avoiding probation in the first instance is important for some criminal defendants. In any case, a defendant has a constitutional right to a trial — and many should and do exercise that right, whether before a judge or a jury of their peers. For that reason, the possibility of taking a plea agreement, or what constitutes a good one in your circumstances, can be addressed by Broward criminal defense attorney Moore. Videos can be good or bad, depending on what they seem to show —
If you have been arrested for a crime in Broward County and subsequently pled guilty or no-contest, you may have been placed on probation. The attorneys at our office want to remind you of the importance of filing monthly reports if ordered to do so. The failure to file monthly reports is a sufficient basis to revoke probation or community control. Indeed, the failure to file even a single monthly report may, in certain circumstances, justify revocation if such failure is willful and substantial and supported by the greater weight of the evidence. The reason is that supervision reports are not merely technical niceties and the failure to report is a serious violation of the privilege of supervision. Criminal lawyers advise that the Florida Supreme Court has rejected “any per se rule that the failure to file a single report may never justify revocation.” The Court reasoned that “Probation reports are not merely technical niceties and the failure to report is a serious violation of the privilege of probation. . . . Failure to enforce the reporting requirements undermines the system and the practical consequence is no control, no supervision, and no probation.” A sufficient basis for revocation on this ground is not established, for example, where the probationer or community controlee files two late reports to his or her probation or community control officer, one of which is five days late and the other one day late and both of which are accepted. If you have been arrested and seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney, contact any of the numbers listed above. For Broward County, contact attorney William Moore. For information on DUI and related offenses, please review Broward DUI.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney, William Moore, claims that many Floridians mistakenly believe that criminal defendants convicted of serious crimes will serve only a short period of time in prison before being released on parole. This misunderstanding may be due to the lenient parole systems in other states or the way parole worked many years ago. They may also hear of notorious criminals being released on parole after rehabilitation during decades in prison, says Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney William Moore. In any case, the parole system in Florida emphasizes the importance of serving the vast majority of a sentence behind bars. If a defendant is convicted and sentenced to a prison sentence for a crime that occurred on or after October 1, 1995, according to Broward criminal attorney Moore. He must serve no less than 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole. That means, for example, that a person convicted of burglary who is sentenced to ten years in prison must serve a minimum of eight and a half years. Likewise, a person convicted of sexual battery who is sentenced to 15 years must serve at least 12.8 years before being eligible to go before the parole board. The calculations do not apply to absolutely every sentence, however, and the most notable exception is life imprisonment. A person who has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole cannot thereafter be paroled in the state of Florida. There is a separate sentence for life with the possibility of parole, which is the sentence approximately six percent of Florida inmates are currently serving, compared to five percent without the possibility of parole. The Florida law has resulted in an increase in the percentage of a sentence that the average inmate serves in the state. In 2001, the average percentage served was 82.4 percent, reflecting a fair number of inmates whose convictions were for crimes committed before the cutoff date. By 2005, the figure had increased to 85.7 percent. Parole remains infrequent: in 2005, of all of the prisoners released, just 0.2 percent were paroled, or one of every 500 released.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney William Moore handles many different types of criminal defense cases, including driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One common issue that trips up many new clients is probation. Probation is a tool frequently used by judges or offered by state attorneys in plea agreements. It is less costly than imprisoning or jailing a person, yet still allows for the state to exercise a large degree of control over an offender. One of the most common ways a person ends up on probation is after taking a plea deal. In exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecutor may agree to offer, for example, a year of probation. For a criminal defendant who has a difficult case to win at trial, this may be a good offer, depending on the circumstances of his or her individual case, says Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Moore. After all, there is certainty that the defendant can avoid time in jail.
Probation is not as easy as some people believe it is, however, and the defendant must comply with numerous requirements. He will have to pay various fees and will likely be forbidden from consuming drugs or alcohol. He will be subjected to random drug tests. He cannot be arrested again for any other crime. The consequences of violating probation are serious. In a violation of probation hearing, the state does not need to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, as it does in a trial for a regular crime. The defendant does not get to have a jury trial and can event be forced to incriminate himself by giving testimony – no taking the Fifth Amendment. There’s no bail while awaiting a violation of probation hearing, so you could be stuck in jail for weeks while you await your hearing. Even something as simple as failing to pay court costs counts as a violation of probation.
When sentencing you, the judge can be as harsh as he or she could have been when sentencing for the under lying crime (the one that resulted in the probation). So even if you complete 11 of 12 months of probation successfully, the judge could order you to jail for another year, according to Broward criminal attorney Moore. However, the outcome of a violation of probation depends on the unique facts of each case.
Earlier this year, the national media descended upon Fort Lauderdale to cover the DUIManslaughter case of Donte Stallworth, notes Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore. Stallworth was a star professional football player who has a home in the Fort Lauderdale-Dade area. He was out for a night drinking in swanky Fort Lauderdale Beach clubs when he left to return to his home in the early hours of the morning. Stallworth’s vehicle struck Mario Reyes, a local construction worker who was crossing the street to catch a bus after finishing his night shift job. Stallworth immediately contacted the police, but Reyes was killed in the accident, Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore says. Stallworth’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.126 at the time of the accident, in excess of the 0.08 percent level at which Florida law presumes a driver is too impaired to drive. The football player has maintained that he flashed his lights and honked his horn to warn Reyes prior to the collision and a police investigation of the accident determined that Reyes was not crossing the street in a crosswalk, Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore says. The family of Mario Reyes, including his wife and teenaged daughter, apparently sought a quick resolution to the criminal case, as well as the civil case they filed against Stallworth, so that they could move on with their lives. Stallworth accepted a plea deal from Fort Lauderdale-Dade prosecutors that has been widely criticized for its perceived leniency, providing for only about a month in jail, followed by a longer period of house arrest and probation. He also agreed to settle the family’s civil suit for an undisclosed sum of money. Recently, Stallworth was successful in his bid to challenge the house arrest conditions. He wanted to be able to leave his house five times per week to work out with a personal trainer, due to his need to maintain a very high degree of physical conditioning. The State Attorney’s Office opposed the motion, however, since he is not currently employed as a professional football player. Nonetheless, the judge granted the motion over the state’s objection, leaving Stallworth free to work out at a local high school with a trainer five times per week. He is also allowed to leave his home for employment purposes, to engage in community service, and for certain other court-approved activities.
Last spring, Floridians were shocked when reports that six teenaged girls from Lakeland had savagely beaten their 16-year-old classmate, says Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney William Moore. Eight teenagers were eventually arrested for the beating. Six of those arrested were other girls who went to school with the victim, who was a cheerleader. The attackers were between 14 and 18 years of age. Two boys were also arrested for their role, keeping guard outside of the home where the beating occurred. Broward criminal lawyer Moore has learned that Mercades Nichols, who is now 18 years old, was arrested for violation of probation. She received three years of probation at her sentencing hearing in March of this year for her role in the beating. Nichols was arrested after allegedly driving her grandmother’s car through a neighbor’s yard, destroying the lawn on June 14. Police said she will be arraigned on July 23 and, in the meantime, will be held in the county jail without bail. The video the girls took was widely publicized and was posted on YouTube. The victim sustained a concussion during the attack, in addition to significant bruising and injuries to an eye and ear. At one point, the victim became unconscious. During the beating, the girls encourage one another and even expressed concern over the possibility of damaging furniture as they hit the girl. In the video, she appears to try to protect herself, insisting that she does not want to fight, and does not retaliate against her attackers. The victim told law enforcement officials that her attackers indicated their intent to post the video on that site and on MySpace. Their desire to put up the video was apparently one of the main motivating factors in the battery. The clip does not show the entire incident including the beginning, when a girl rammed the victim’s head repeatedly into a wall. The video they recorded is below, but beware that it contains violent images: