Recently in Probation in Jacksonville Category

Man arrested for taking bribes to get Clay County probationers out of community service

October 10, 2012

A resident ranger at a Boy Scout camp in Clay County was arrested last week for soliciting and taking bribes from people assigned to do community service there. Michael Kenneth Eble was taking money from the defendants and then signing their official documents to indicate they had completed the community service, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police said Eble's bribery operation was widespread and the Boy Scout camp's community service program has been suspended until a replacement is found. Eble, 50, was fired and evicted from his residence at the camp, the newspaper reported. He is facing a bribery charge in Clay County, a second-degree felony that could land him up to 15 years in state prison.

People who are arrested on misdemeanor charges in Clay County are often sentenced to do some form of community service, often times as part of his or her probation. In other cases, it can be one of the conditions that the defendant must meet to have an adjudication withheld in the case. One question this case brings up is whether or not the people who paid Eble rather than do their own community service would be subject to any punishment. Technically, if someone is assigned to probation and does not complete the community service, that would constitute a Clay County violation of probation. If someone violates their probation, they could get the full sentence for the previous crime. So, for example, if someone was on probation for a charge that had a maximum of a year in the county jail, the defendant could now be sentenced to a year in jail.

In this case, it is probably more likely that the state will choose to use the people who paid the bribes as witnesses against Eble and not pursue Clay County criminal charges against them. Could the state insist the people actually complete the community service this time? Maybe. But the state is probably more likely to look at them as victims in a case like this. Community service is an important component of sentences for Clay County misdemeanor cases, and our Clay County Probation Attorney has had hundreds of clients who have done their required hours. The state needs to ensure the public that it is above board and not influenced by people like Eble, and will likely pursue the case against Eble aggressively. One key to Eble's case will be who initiated the discussion about the bribery. If it was Eble, and there are several people who say so, his case has some serious problems. White collar crime defenses can be difficult because, similar to Eble's cases, there is generally a pattern of activity before police get involved, which can lead to a string of witnesses that could look damaging at trial. But, it's also possible that he developed a reputation for providing this service, so to speak, and people sought him out. That could also open up the possibility for probation violations against those who paid the bribes.

If you or a loved one needs a Probation Attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County Probation Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jacksonville probation conditions

As a Duval County Probation Lawyer, I have many clients who have been placed on some kind of criminal probation in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties. Probation is a form of court imposed sentence in a criminal case with certain conditions. Certain crimes, such as Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence and Duval County Domestic Battery carry a mandatory term of probation as part of a sentence if someone is convicted. When you are placed on Jacksonville probation, there are many rules to comply with. You can't change your residence or employment without the consent of your probation officer. You must allow the probation officer access to your home. You must report to your probation officer in person at least once a month and must answer their questions truthfully. When on your probation, you cannot violate any law and just being arrested in Jacksonville for a crime will violate your Duval County probation. You cannot use alcohol to excess and cannot be in a place where illegal drugs are present. You must have employment or be looking diligently for employment. You are not allowed to have any firearms on your person or in your home without the probation officer's consent.

When you attend your first probation appointment in Duval County, you must have government issued identification. This includes a driver's license, Florida Identification card, military identification, social security card, birth certificate, passport, voter's registration card, school identification and alien registration cards. You must also show proof of residence, which includes rental agreements, receipts, mortgage payment slips, deeds and utility bills. Proof of employment can be verified through pay stubs or tax return. If you are unemployed, you must fill out forms supplied by the Jacksonville probation office.

In addition to these general conditions, certain Florida crimes carry other "special" conditions that must be completed. If you are placed on DUI probation in Jacksonville, you must complete DUI school and complete any recommended drug or alcohol treatment as deemed necessary by an assessment counselor, immobilize your vehicle by surrendering your keys and tag or getting a boot on your car and attend the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim's Impact Panel. If you are placed on Domestic Battery Probation in Jacksonville, you must enroll in and complete the Batterers' Intervention Program, which includes 26 weeks of anger management classes.

If you have had your probation violated in Duval, Clay or Nassau County, call our Jacksonville Probation Violation Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Often times, our Jacksonville Probation Law Firm is able to get you back on the judge's calendar without you having to turn yourself in on the violation. Sometimes the probation officer has violated you in error. Whatever the circumstance, it is important to consult with an experienced Violation of Probation Attorney in Duval County. The Mussallem Law Firm is here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jacksonville violation of probation for curfew violation

Our Jacksonville Probation Attorney has represented hundreds of people charged with violating their probation in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties. When you are placed on probation in Florida, you have less rights than the common citizen. There are general conditions along with special conditions of every criminal probation. Some general conditions of probation include getting or keeping your employment, observing a curfew, being subject to random urinalysis and allowing the probation officer to search your person or home at any time. Special conditions of probation depend on the underlying offense. If you are placed on DUI probation in Jacksonville, some special conditions of that probation are performing 50 hours of community service, attending Driving Under the Influence School, attending the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, impounding your vehicle and paying a fine. If you are put on probation for Domestic Battery, a special condition would be to complete the Batterers' Intervention Program, which is a 26 week class.

In order to violate your probation, the facts of your case must demonstrate a willful and substantial violation that the prosecutor must prove by a greater weight of the evidence, or more than 50%. In a recent Florida case, man was placed on sex offender probation and violated because he was late for his curfew by 30 minutes. If you are placed on sex crime probation in Jacksonville or anywhere in Florida, there are multiple special conditions placed on you, including attending mandatory sex offender counseling, prohibited computer access, restrictions on where you can live, keeping driving logs and observing a curfew. The court, when determining whether this 30 minute violation was willful and substantial, the court must decide whether this violation indicates that probation will not work for this person. At the time of this Florida violation, the man had completed almost two years of his probation without incident. He was not charged with any new law violations and was not arrested for any other crimes. Other than being 30 minutes late, the man was otherwise compliant with all terms and conditions imposed on him. Because of these facts, the appellate court found that there was no basis for the conclusion that the probationer was unfit for probation and the revocation was unfair on these facts.

If you have been arrested in Jacksonville, Clay County or Nassau County on a violation of probation, call our Northeast Florida Probation Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Criminal Attorney is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case.

Ponte Vedra Beach Housewife Accused of Violation of Probation in St. Johns County

October 20, 2011

Just when you thought Quinn Gray had vanished from the scene, here she comes, on her way back into court on an alleged violation of probation. Gray, who now goes by the name Quinn Hanna, made national headlines two years ago after faking her kidnapping and trying to extort $50,000 from her husband while she ran off with her lover for the weekend.
Hanna was sentenced to seven years of Florida probation and, as part of the deal, she was to pay back the costs of the full-scale investigation police embarked when she was thought to be taken against her will. As a condition of that St. Johns County probation, Berger also ordered Hannah to receive a substance abuse evaluation and a mental health evaluation and to follow any recommended treatment; attend two AA/NA or similar-type meetings a week; consume no alcohol; have no violent contact with her ex-husband, Reid Gray, or his family; have no contact at all with her co-defendant Jasmin Osmanovic; have no contact with the media in regards to Reid Gray and the Gray children; pay $2,500 cost of prosecution; and pay $43,000 cost of investigation to the St. John's County Sheriff's Office.
If you are charged with violating terms of your probation, you need an experienced Jacksonville probation attorney that knows the ins and outs of the law.
News4Jax is reporting Hanna's probation officer is recommending she be placed on two years Florida house arrest for six probation violations - mostly involving failure to pay. Court records show she owes more than $43,000, the television station reported.
Probation violations are serious charges and can often mean you'll face the maximum amount of time you could have received before you were placed on probation. It can often be the hook the state uses to give a back-door jail sentence - setting conditions a defendant is unlikely to be able to meet.
But, for you to be found in violation, the state must prove your actions constitute a "willful and substantial" violation. This means you had to knowingly break a significant term of your probation.
First of all, Florida does not have a debtor's prison. If it did, it'd probably be full. But it doesn't, so you cannot be hauled downtown and booked on a violation for being broke.
Our Jacksonville criminal defense attorney has represented hundreds of people accused of violating their probation. We will represent you at a hearing where you can present your side of story.
In the Hanna case, for example, her probation agreement says she cannot speak to the media about her ex-husband Reid, from whom she tried to extort $50,000, or the couple's children.
Hanna provided a statement to Dateline NBC for a two-hour special the newsmagazine ran on the case last month, which her probation officer is claiming was a violation.
Hanna's attorney told the television station she didn't speak about Reid or the children, so she was well within her right.
Probation officers do not have the final say on what is or is not a violation. That's for the judge to decide.
Having a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of a "willful and substantial violation" is critical if you are accused of violating your probation.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.

UF Basketball Player Gets Probation in St. Augustine Trespassing Case

September 29, 2011

A University of Florida sophomore basketball player has some legal problems that he's dealing with after accepting a deferred prosecution agreement for misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The agreement stems from an April arrest in St. Augustine, The Florida Times-Union reports.

What's significant about this case is that he was on probation from a different state at the time he was arrested. That could cause problems down the road for him.
12754_hand_cuffs.jpg
Probation violations in Jacksonville are somewhat common and can range from minor violations to new arrests that lead to extensive prison time for defendants. An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney can seek to secure a plea deal that calls for less probation time and can sometimes help defendants avoid terms that could cause future legal problems. Probation is not a free ride. Some defendants prefer jail time to probation for that very reason. If you get in trouble again, you could find yourself facing time on two crimes instead of just the penalties attached to the new charge.

In Florida, if a defendant is placed on probation and then violates the terms of the probation, the judge can, in turn, sentence the defendant to the maximum punishment for the charge. So, in the case of a third-degree felony, 5 years, second-degree felony, 15 years and a first-degree felony, 30 years to life.

That doesn't necessarily happen every time, but the judge has that discretion. And the re-sentencing can happen even for a minor violation, such as not informing the probation officer of a change of address or not proving you have sought employment, if that's a condition of the probation. Conditions also include not getting arrested or convicted of a new charge.

In this case, the basketball player was arrested in April in St. Augustine after he and a teammate were in the parking lot of a restaurant at 2 a.m. where employees reporting a car burglary. The plea was to a reduced criminal trespassing charge and the agreement calls for 200 hours of community service, completion of a substance abuse evaluation, $240 in restitution, a letter of apology and fines and fees. He also can't consume alcohol or drugs.

But he is also serving two years of probation in South Dakota after he faced a charge of inhabiting a room where drugs were knowingly kept and used. The newspaper reports he gave a teammate with an injury a leftover pain reliever he had received via prescription.

The newspaper reported that South Dakota prosecutors weren't available to comment on how the agreement could affect his probation. St.Johns County officials said that jail time may be a possibility.

When multiple states are involved in a defendant's situation, it can certainly complicate things. But it may be an advantage, as well. If the probation violation is minor, another state may decide not to pursue bringing the defendant back to that state to deal with it. Whereas if the conviction and violation happen in the same county, officials may be less merciful.

As mentioned earlier, some defendants actually prefer jail or prison time to probation if they believe they are unable to satisfy all the conditions the state wants. Also, probation is expensive. A defendant must make monthly payments and failure to pay can also be considered a violation. Any small mess-up can land a person in jail or prison anyway.

Consulting with an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney is important to help you determine the best course of action regarding probation vs. incarceration.

Continue reading "UF Basketball Player Gets Probation in St. Augustine Trespassing Case" »

Casey Anthony and Florida Probation

August 30, 2011

Casey Anthony is easily one of the most notorious figures in Florida this year. After being acquitted of first degree murder charges, Ms. Anthony is now on probation in Florida for check charges. Ms. Anthony was placed on probation while her murder case was pending and the department of corrections in Orlando started the probation while she was still incarcerated. Technically, her probation should be over because the clock began running when jail officials made the mistake of not waiting until she was released from jail. Despite the error, the appeals court is making Ms. Anthony complete the probation sentence now that she has been released.

Ms. Anthony has been sentenced to 1 year on Florida probation and is supposed to look for a job or go back to school. When you are placed on probation in Jacksonville or anywhere in Florida, there are certain requirements and prohibitions. You have to report to probation on a monthly basis and must pay for the cost of your supervision. The cost is around $60.00 per month. When you are placed on probation in Jacksonville, you have less rights than the normal citizen. The probation officer can come to your home at any hour and search it. You are also subject to drug tests and prohibited from being around anyone who is or could be committing any crime. You are also restricted on where you can go. Usually, you cannot leave the county you are on probation to without the permission of your judge.

In addition to the previous standard conditions, "special" conditions can be imposed on your probation depending on the crime you plea to. For example, if you are put on probation for a first DUI in Jacksonville, there are certain minimum mandatory conditions you must complete on probation. Some special conditions of DUI probation in Jacksonville are that you must complete DUI school level one, complete the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, and impound your car for ten days. If you are placed on Domestic Battery probation in Jacksonville, you will be required to complete the Batterers' Intervention Program, which is a 26 week class.

If you have any questions about probation in Jacksonville or anywhere in Florida, call our Jacksonville Probation Attorney at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.