Your assigned probation officer will file an “Affidavit of Violation” in the Pinellas County Court to initiate probation violation proceedings. From there, the probationer will receive a notice of the violation proceedings so that they can defend against any allegations. Failure of the probation officer to give formal notice of a potential violation to the probationer violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution and the Florida State Constitution. The probationer also has the right to have a probation lawyer with them during probation violation proceedings.
There are then two outcomes:
- The probationer receives a summons to appear in Pinellas County court at a specific date and time for an arraignment
- The court could issue an arrest warrant for the probationer
If an arrest warrant is issued, no bond will be granted when arrested. The probationer remains in custody throughout the duration of the probation violation proceedings without the possibility of being bonded out.
At the arraignment, the court will lay out the allegations against the probationer and provide any evidence or documentation supporting the claim. The court will also schedule a final probation hearing date.
This final hearing is where the state prosecutor must prove the allegations that the defendant violated the conditions of their parole. A significant item to consider is that the standard of proof for a probation violation is much lower than the standard of proof required for the conviction of a crime. This is because the defendant has already been convicted of a crime. The only thing the state needs to do is confirm they violated the conditions of their probation.