Probation violations and warrants are two instances of a criminal case taking a turn in the wrong direction. If you have a probation violation or warrant pending, contact a criminal lawyer to resolve the issue and put your criminal case back on track. Consulting with an attorney is your best option to better understand what consequences you’re facing, if any.
Probation violations and warrants place additional stress on those facing criminal charges and their loved ones because an open probation violation or warrant means the accused can be taken into custody by law enforcement at any time. Most of the time probation violations and warrants are serious matters with very real consequences but at other times, a skilled criminal defense attorney can resolve many issues with the judge or prosecutor without any penalty for the client.
Probation Violations in Broward County
- A probation violation takes place when an individual is found guilty of a crime, or pleads no contest, and is put on probation by a judge. At a minimum, probation comes with the condition that the individual cannot be re-arrested during their term of probation. Oftentimes, many other conditions of probation are ordered by the judge, such as: reporting requirements, no alcohol/drugs, community service hours, court ordered restitution, restraining orders, and/or fines.
When an individual is on probation and the prosecution discovers an allegation of the individual violating their probation, the prosecution files what is known as a Probation Violation Affidavit. The probation violation affidavit puts the court and individual on notice the prosecution intends to go forward and prosecute the individual for the violation.
Common Probation Violations, include:
- Being re-arrested for a new crime
- Failure to report to a probation officer
- Testing positive for drugs or alcohol
- Violating a restraining order
- Failure to do community service hours
- Failure to pay court ordered restitution
- Failure to pay a court fine
- Failure to attend a court ordered class
Warrants in Broward County
There are two types of warrants entered by judges in Broward county, bench warrants and alias capias warrants. Bench warrants are less serious and are entered in county court cases. The cases at the county court level are misdemeanors so bench warrants can also be considered misdemeanor warrants. Depending on the nature of the crime, the judge, the prosecutor, and the facts surrounding the warrant, it is possible at times for a Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer to appear in court without the client and have the bench warrant removed. If you have an open bench warrant, contact a criminal attorney at Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. to discuss your options. We may be able to get a better resolution to your warrant than you thought was possible.
In the event your warrant is for a felony case, you do not have a bench warrant, you have an alias capias warrant. An alias capias warrant is viewed as more serious than a bench warrant. If you have an open alias capias warrant and you come into contact with law enforcement, you will be taken into custody and you cannot simply post a bond and leave jail. If you have an alias capias warrant you will be required to see the judge on your probation case and have a criminal defense lawyer argue for a new bond. The judge may grant a new bond or may decline to grant you a bond and hold you in custody.
Probation Violation Penalties
Probation is viewed as an alternative to jail or prison and a violation of probation can have very serious consequences. To calculate how much time in jail/prison you are potentially facing on a probation violation, you examine the original charge you were placed on probation for. If your first charge was a misdemeanor, which can be punished by up to a year in jail, then if you violate probation on the misdemeanor you face up to a year in jail. If your first charge was a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in jail, then on a probation violation for the third degree felony, you face up to five years in state prison. This evaluation of potential time in prison applies to all crimes, up to and including first degree felonies facing life in prison.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney
Probation violations and warrants (bench warrants and alias capias warrants) are serious matters which should be addressed immediately. Our office offers free consultations with complete confidentiality guaranteed. Call the law office of Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. now to speak with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, (954) 256-1464. Our attorneys are former prosecutors and will help you get your criminal case back on track for the best resolution possible. The law office of Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. frequently wins top recognitions in the field of criminal defense in South Florida. Call now and see what sets our office apart from the rest.