Violations of Probation (VOPs) are common here in Orlando (maybe we just have an overactive bunch of probation officers?). Whatever the case may be, these VOP’s usually result in an arrest on a no-bond VOP warrant. When this arrest occurs out of the county in which the VOP was issued, there’s always a fight with the judge and prosecutor to get the credit time served due on an out of county arrest for the violation warrant.
Credit for time served was the issue on appeal in the Orlando case of Randolph C. Smith v. State of Florida, 41 So.3d 977 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010). Mr. Smith was charged in Orange County with violating his probation by committing new criminal offenses and changing his residence without probation’s permission. The new criminal offenses occurred in Polk County, as did his arrest on the violation of probation. Mr. Smith sought credit on the Orange County VOP for the time served in jail on the Polk County arrest for the new charges. The Orlando judge denied him this credit for time served, and Smith appealed.
Credit for time served on a VOP can be a tricky issue. As a general rule, a defendant is not entitled to credit for time served if the defendant is found to have violated probation based on his arrest for new offenses, as well as other violations of the conditions of his probation. See Cooper v. State, 967 So.2d 928, 929 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007). Thus, it was the State’s position in Smith’s case that Smith would not entitled to credit for time served because the new law violation was not the only basis for the revocation of probation.
Smith’s attorney had him plea only to the new charges on the violation, he did not plea to the change of residence violation. So, the appeals court granted credit for the time served from the date of the original new charges arrest. In this case, close attention to every detail of the violation plea paid off in the end.