Probation Violation Hearings During Covid

By Jonathan Blecher on March 3, 2021

Last year, I blogged about the possibilities of being drug or alcohol tested while on probation. Remember that if you’ve been placed on probation for DUI or any other criminal offense expect the possibility that the probation officer may require you to submit to drug or alcohol testing. A positive result on either of the test may result in just a warning or a probation violation warrant for your arrest. In the case of a full-blown probation violation hearing, you may be facing additional probation, counseling, or worse jail time.

Fast forward one year where the State of Florida is still in the midst of the pandemic and is struggling to get is it’s citizens vaccinated in a fair and orderly way. The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on just about everything we do, from shopping in grocery stores to airplane travel. You can include the criminal courts in the long list of things jarred by the virus’ spread.

Within the past few months, the courts in Miami have tested the waters, ahead of full scale trials, by attempting to conduct probation violation hearings on Zoom remote video. The issue was appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, but shot down recently as live trials took place in Miami Civil Court and Criminal Court this week.

What this means for people charged with violating probation by failing a drug or urine test is that their cases may come up for hearing sooner rather than later. However, the information I’ve obtained from representatives from the Advocate Program and Court Options, who monitor misdemeanor probation cases in Miami, indicates that those agencies are not conducting drug and alcohol random testing on probationers due to Covid-19 concerns for the health of their employees.

The same may not be true for the Florida Department of Corrections, who monitor felony probation cases, however. Their mission statement, polices, and directives are dictated through the Office of the Governor, Ron Desantis, who has shown a lack of leadership dealing with the pandemic and it’s effects on the majority of Florida citizens.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Jonathan Blecher, P.A.

Don’t hesitate to contact Miami DUI Attorney Jonathan Blecher. He has more than three decades of experience defending the criminally charged and has been extensively recognized for his skills. With over 3,000 DUI cases successfully defended, you can rest assured that he is well-equipped to handle your case as well. Contact Us Now!

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