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Can the State of Florida prove the VOP?

Tampa violation of probation attorneys are often asked about whether the State Attorney’s Office can prove the VOP or violation of probation. Many individuals are challenged and frustrated by the fact that the State of Florida has such a low burden in proving violation of probation matters. The specific burden in these specific cases is a preponderance of the evidence, which is more commonly referred to as a simple slight tipping of the scales or 51%, while beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest burden in our legal system.  Obviously, the standard is low for the State to prove the VOP against an individual.

It’s important to note that proving violation of probation is incredibly easy since hearsay is admissible during these hearings, but the entire violation of probation cannot be based on hearsay alone. For example, a probation officer cannot come in and say they were told by two law enforcement officers that a defendant violated the law. Generally, the State Attorney’s Office will bring in the probation officer and an arresting officer to get over this hurdle. It’s also worth noting that while evidentiary hearings on violation of probation are rare, we have handled many of them. They are especially difficult given the lower burden and the relaxed evidentiary rules during the proceedings.  Unfortunately, evidentiary hearings are on the rise because of the Florida sentencing guidelines.   The overwhelming majority of violations of probation are resolved through plea negotiations by Tampa violation of probation attorneys and the State Attorney’s Office.  It is worth noting though that the Florida Department of Corrections supervises felony probation in Florida.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning a violation of probation, contact the Tampa violation of probation attorneys at Hackworth Law for a free consultation. We appreciate your time in looking through our Tampa violation of probation attorney blog. If you want to contact one of our attorneys now please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our blog. Thank you.