A Violation of Probation (VOP) can be either substantive or technical. A substantive violation means a new criminal charge and a technical violation means that a condition has been broken or not followed but there is no new criminal offense.
A common question is whether the State can maintain the VOP case when a new law violation is alleged and then the new criminal charge is dismissed. In short, the answer is YES. The State of Florida can and does prosecute people for violations of conditions of probation even if the new charge is dismissed. One reason that they can keep the VOP after the new case is dropped is that the standard of proof is different.
In a VOP, the State only has to prove that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred. In a new substantive criminal case, the State has to prove guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Literally, a defendant could earn a not guilty after jury trial and the State could continue to prosecute the VOP. Although any one prosecutor may choose to not prosecute a VOP if a new alleged offense is not prosecuted, there is no requirement that the probation case be dismissed along with a new charge.
Any violation of probation or criminal accusation is scary and treacherous. Do not walk into court to face the government alone. You have rights, know them and use them. We offer free case evaluations in all criminal matters. To learn more, click, call or fill out the form to the right.
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