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.
The Process According to the Broward Criminal Lawyer Online Magazine:
Compared to probation, community control is much more restrictive, according to Ft. Lauderdale community control violations lawyer . This is because offenders are confined to their homes, and permission to leave the premises is according to an approved weekly schedule. The offender also cannot venture far outside the premises and an electronic tracking device is attached to the ankle of the person, which will trigger an alarm when the person goes beyond the approved boundary area. A community control officer oversees the weekly schedule, and can give permission to leave the house for school, work, worship, medical emergencies, and so on.
When any of the sanctions or conditions imposed on community control is not followed, it amounts to a violation, which is punishable with severe sentences. It can also amount to a violation if the person is arrested on another charge while undergoing community control. Broward criminal lawyer William Moore explains that some of the usual community control violations are:
• Violation of curfew restrictions
• Living in another place without permission
• Violating no contact order
• Visiting places that are restricted
• New arrest
• Moving beyond the approved boundary
If a probation officer or any kind of law enforcement officer believes that a person has violated community control in any way, the officer can arrest the person or instruct the authorities to make the arrest without a warrant. After the person is arrested, he or she has a right to a hearing, and the case is tried at the court where the original violation was tried and the sentence of community control was granted.
However, the accused will not attain a jury trial, and burden of proof is much less for the prosecution. This means the prosecutor does not have to prove the violation beyond reasonable doubt. The main issue at such trial is whether there was substantial and material breach, and this is determined by the judge.
If the hearing is extended beyond the first appearance, the judge can keep the offender in custody, set a bail amount, or release the offender without bail until the next hearing. During the hearing, a plenitude of evidence is presented and all aspects surrounding the arrest are taken into account. Even though different aspects of the original crime and arrest are taken into consideration, community control violation is taken to be a separate crime, and there are strong chances of receiving the full penalty of the original crime.
After the hearing, the judge can pass a sentence to continue, change, or revoke the community control term. If the community control term is revoked, it would also mean the offender is now found guilty of the original charge and can be sentenced to the full extent of the term that is applicable for that crime. This is a harshest sentence for community control violation, compared to continuance of the community control term or even imposition of additional sanctions.
– Fort Lauderdale Probation Violation Attorney
Considering that no warrant is necessary for the arrest, and the lessened burden of proof for the prosecution, it is very difficult to disprove a charge of community violation. The judge puts implicit belief in the law officer who has made the call of the violation. Therefore, the only defense possible at community control violation hearings is to negotiate a lenient sentence, and avoiding revocation of the community control sentence. This can be achieved by negotiating pleas with the prosecution or agreeing to psychological evaluations and treatment.
For more information about your Broward County or Broward County arrest for community control violations contact our law offices William Moore Criminal Defense