You’ve heard the sayings about Orlando: come here on vacation, leave on probation, come back on a violation. This old saying sounds like the truth, in part because it rhymes so well [Jesse Jackson could have come up with this line, but don’t quote me on that].
Violations of probation (VOP, for short) come from issues found within the standard conditions of probation, but today’s analysis will focus on those violations that arise from failing to uphold a special condition of probation laid out by the judge. In Ezra Maddox v. State of Florida, Maddox was sentenced to five years prison on his violation of probation on an aggravated battery charge. 97 So.3d 332 (Fla 2nd DCA 2012). Let’s see why an appeals court set him free.
Initially, Maddox was sentenced to a year in jail, followed by probation. The jail term was to terminate early once bed space became available at a local drug treatment facility. Maddox entered the drug treatment center, but was discharged before completion. Like clockwork, a violation of probation was filed based upon the unsuccessful completion of treatment. Fortunately, that vop was dismissed. Now, here’s where things got a little strange. The judge that dismissed the first vop then ordered Maddox to complete a different treatment program, and ordered Maddox to abide by a curfew. And there’s the problem. Where did this curfew thing come from? Sure, the initial sentence provided for drug treatment–but no deal was ever cut that involved a curfew. A curfew was not part of the original probation, it was added after the first violation was dismissed.