If we were running some sort of popularity contest for violations of probation the dirty urine violation is going to win the day, the big winner here. Because, most violations are for positive drug tests.
So, back when I first started defending criminal cases in 1993 a dirty urine violation really guaranteed you some months in jail with no bond. It was a harsh sentence for something not that serious, really. The good news is, VOP punishments for positive drug tests have lightened up, especially now that courts have what we call “Alternative Sanctioning Programs” throughout the state that address dirty urine violations.
If this is your first dirty urine the alternative sanctioning program is going to be helpful. First of all, you don’t need to hire an attorney. That’s good for you, not so good for me. And, you’re not going to have to go to court. And you’re not going to be arrested, which is a beautiful thing. You don’t want to be arrested for a dirty urine violation.
Here’s how it works. If you violate your probation with a positive drug test, let’s say Orange County, for example. And, this is the first time you’ve come up dirty. The judge has the option of not arresting you and they’re going to ask you to accept the alternative sanction program. If you accept it, in Orange County, a first positive drug test may lead to a drug evaluation, you’re going to get some treatment that the evaluation may recommend, you’re going to have a curfew for 90 days, and you’re going to have to attend AA or NA classes for three months.
Once again, no jail. No attorneys. No court dates. No judges. Take advantage of that program. This is what you want.
But, if you want to fight it, I respect that. You need to fight it sometimes and there are plenty of ways to beat a violation for a positive drug test. And, I guess there are a few ways to lose too.
Look, sometimes probationers confess to using drugs and if the confession is valid the prosecutors aren’t going to have a very difficult time convincing the judge to find you guilty of violating probation. So, I don’t know where you stand on the confession but if you’re going to fight a dirty urine Florida law makes it a little tricky.
This is because the drug test is scientific, its scientific evidence, but for VOP’s they don’t have to present scientific evidence to prove this and this is unbelievable. Its wrong. Probation uses a very basic chemical test but its at the VOP hearing where everything goes wrong because the probation officer gets to testify like a scientist and gets to tell you what’s in that lab report, convicting you of the violation. That is ridiculous. They don’t understand science. They’re not experts. This is a bad Florida law. It will be overturned in the future. I cannot imagine this thing sticking around like this.
So, if you want to fight your dirty urine allegation you’ve got to speak with an attorney that’s familiar with your judge. I’ve got to tell you that the judges are very important on VOPs. And some are going to be more rigorous in their demands for evidence than others. Find an attorney that knows your judge and I do wish you luck on your violation. Take care.