Probation & Anti-Murder FAQ
Over the past few years, Florida has enacted harsh laws for violent felony offenders. One of these laws is the ‘Anti Murder Act’ which requires many types of felony offenders who violate their probation or community control to remain incarcerated until the court system decides whether the individual will pose any danger/threat to the public at large. The Anti-murder Act in Florida was enacted in March 2007.
Once an individual is incarcerated, the Florida Department of Corrections will classify these offenders as Violent Felony Offenders of special concern or ‘VFO’ on the violation of community control or probation affidavit.
When Is The Anti-Murder Act Not Applicable?
The one time that the Anti-Murder Act doesn’t apply, according to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, is when the alleged violation of probation is only due to the defendant’s inability to pay any fine, cost or restitution.
What Is A Qualifying Offense Of The Anti-Murder Act?
For the purpose of the Anti-Murder Act, a qualifying offense is a prior conviction of one of the following crimes:
- Abuse of a dead individual (for example cutting off a limb or decapitation)
- Aggravated assault when an individual purposely, recklessly or knowing attempts or causes serious bodily injury under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life
- Aggravated battery the intentional contact with another individual with the intent to inflict great bodily harm or to use a deadly weapon.
- Aggravated stalking when one willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly cyberstalks or harasses another individual. A charge of aggravated stalking can also be made if one makes a credible threat towards another individual by phone, email or on social media, AND
- If the other person is less than age 16
- The other individual has obtained a no contact order after the defendant was convicted of a violent or sex crime
- If one has committed aircraft piracy, irrespective of the size of the plane
- Committing arson or attempted arson
- Burglary or attempted burglary of a home, office or public entity
- Possessing of child pornography both on a computer or in person
- Involved in trafficking of minors
- Involved in kidnapping or attempted kidnapping. This includes luring, enticing or falsely imprisoning both adults and children
- Convicted of lewd and lascivious offenses
- Homicide which includes murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter
- Attempted poisoning by water or food
- Robbery or attempted robbery
- Carjacking or attempted carjacking
- Home invasion with or without weapons
- Sexual battery
- Manufacturing or discharging an explosive device
What Is A Danger Hearing?
When a hearing is held to deem if the defendant poses a danger to the public, this is known as a danger hearing.
What Factors Does The Court Look At To Determine If The Defendant Is A Danger To The Public?
- The nature of the violation, circumstances surrounding it and if the defendant has been charged with any new offenses
- The conduct of the defendant at the moment
- How many criminal convictions the defendant has
- Was the defendant previously on probation or community control supervision? What was his or conduct during that time period? Does the individual have any violation hearing cases? What does his supervisor(s) have to say about the defendant?
- Does the individual have any other disciplinary records from prior incarceration?
- Are there any record of arrests without conviction for crimes involving violence or sexual crimes?
- Is there any other evidence of allegations of unlawful sexual conduct or the use of violence by the offender?
- What is the type of evidence available?
- Does the defendant have family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, and any mental condition?
- What is the likelihood of re-engaging in a criminal course of conduct?
- Any other facts the court considers relevant
How Can A Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
If you have recently violated your probation or community control, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney right away to begin building a defense for your case. Frost Law represents clients facing felony and misdemeanor charges including violation of probation. Get help from an experienced trial attorney and former state prosecutor. Call (407) 670-5569 today for a free consultation and review of your case.