Florida Statute of Limitations for Violation of Probation

If you have violated your probation, you probably have a lot of questions.  You are afraid of being arrested and going to jail.  When your Duval County Florida probation officer violates your probation in Jacksonville, he or she must have grounds to violate your probation.  For instance, if you are on probation for Jacksonville possession of cocaine, a term of your probation may be to enroll in a substance abuse program and go through the recommended treatment.  If you do not, you will be have violated a condition of your probation.  The same is true if you fail a drug test.  What if you were place on probation for grand theft in Jacksonville?  You must pay restitution and report regularly to your probation officer.  You fail to pay restitution, and you miss your appointments.  Your probation officer will likely violate your probation.  Your Duval County probation officer will submit an affidavit alleging that you have violated the terms of your probation.  After this, the Duval County judge will sign an arrest warrant.

If you find out that there is a warrant for your arrest, you may be wondering if you should turn yourself in.  You may be wondering if there is a way for you to avoid being arrested.  Is a time period that you can “ride out” so the warrant will expire?  You cannot hide from a violation of probation arrest warrant until it expires, because it does not expire.  There is no statute of limitations period in Florida for a pending probation violation with a warrant that has been issued.  You should talk to a Jacksonville criminal attorney about your options.  Your Duval County attorney may be able to fix this problem.  You may contact a Jacksonville criminal lawyer by calling 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 or via email (Find a Lawyer).

While there is not a statute of limitations for a pending violation of probation, there is a statute of limitations that does apply to some violation of probation cases in Florida.  This applies to the time that the warrant was signed.  The warrant must be issued during the probationary period.  The Florida criminal case that describes this is Boyd v. State:

“A necessary condition precedent to a conclusion that the process of revocation has been set in motion is a finding that an arrest warrant has been issued; the fact that an affidavit has been signed is, by itself, insufficient to support such a conclusion. Appellant argues that there is no evidence in the record that the arrest warrant was issued before his probationary term expired. The state counters that the warrant was issued when it was signed by the judge, on March 25, 1991. We believe that the resolution of this disagreement is found in Dubbs v. Lehman, 100 Fla. 799, 130 So. 36 (1930). In Dubbs, the petitioner had filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the trial court, claiming that he was entitled to release because the statute of limitations had run on the offense with which he was charged before the prosecution had commenced. The trial court denied relief, and the petitioner sought review in the supreme court. The supreme court said that a prosecution does not commence for statute of limitations purposes until an arrest warrant is issued. More importantly for purposes of this appeal, the court said, further, that “[t]he issuance of a warrant consists of the execution of the warrant by the committing magistrate and the placing of the warrant in the hands of a proper executive officer for execution.Id. at 804, 130 So. at 38 (emphasis added).”

Boyd v. State, 699 So. 2d 295, 298 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997) approved, 717 So. 2d 524 (Fla. 1998)


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