Violating probation is easier than you might think, and it can get you into a sticky situation. To understand how a probation warrant may affect you, let's examine warrants in Florida and how Miami police enforce probation.
Most people think of a warrant as a piece of paper that allows law enforcement to search someone's property or arrest them. However, warrants do far more than that, and they aren't just for search and arrests.
In fact, there are many kinds of warrants that fit specific situations, and not only are these warrants effective, they are more than a piece of paper. In general, a warrant is a writ – a formal written order – from a judge. However, warrants aren't just circulated within the local police force- they can be shared across law enforcement agencies and state lines, and they don't expire. That means that even if you commit a crime in Los Angeles and flee to Miami, the California arrest warrant will be shared with Florida police.
Additionally, while search and arrest warrants are more prevalent on crime shows and movies, the most common warrant is for missing court. Essentially, if you fail to appear in court for even a minute offense like a traffic violation, a judge can issue a warrant against you. These are called bench warrants.
The following are the three most important rules to remember for warrants:
- Warrants do not expire
- One warrant can be shared among countless officers and law enforcement bodies
- A warrant can only be resolved by apprehension or recall by a judge
Now that we have a clear picture of what warrants are and are not, let's look at Florida probation.
What Is Probation?
Probation is a court-imposed criminal sentence that allows a convicted individual to be released on specific restrictions and conditions instead of sending them to prison. In other words, probation will enable you to be released as long as you submit to court-mandated rules and regulations for a set amount of time.
These restrictions may vary depending on the crime. For example, someone convicted of armed robbery may not be allowed to possess or carry a firearm for the duration of their probation. In other cases, a driver convicted of injuring someone during the course of a DUI may need to attend required Alcoholics Anonymous classes and submit a report to their probation officer.
In most cases, probation involves a system of accountability and responsibility. You must be accountable for your actions to the probation officer and responsible for following the rules during your probationary period. However, some restrictions may not be clear and can challenge your responsibility.
Probation officers should inform you of the details of your probation, but understandably, some rules may be complicated or unclear. If you are caught in violation of probation, you could face serious consequences, even if it was unintentional.
What Happens When You Violate Probation in Miami?
If the court believes you have violated your probation, the judge may issue a warrant against you. As mentioned previously, once a warrant is issued, it can only be resolve by apprehending you or a recall from the judge.
Probation warrants are incredibly frustrating because the court is unlikely to sympathize with your reasons for missing a meeting with your probation officer or committing another violation. The main issue with probation warrants is that if the court finds that you are intentionally violating the terms of probation, you could face jail time.
How You Can Challenge a Warrant
If you believe there is a warrant against you in Miami, do not hesitate to contact The Hoffman Firm. Founding Attorney Evan Hoffman has nearly two decades of complex trial experience, and our Miami team is prepared to help you contest the warrant against you.