Probation Under Florida Law
What is Probation?
"Probation" is a legal supervision program ordered by a court under certain circumstances when a person is found guilty of some "eligible" types of crimes. A probation sentence comes with certain conditions, and the violation of those conditions can result in serious penalties. If you are put on probation, a Probation Officer will monitor if you comply with the court-ordered conditions.
A probationary period may go into effect after a person has served time in prison or completed another type of sentencing, or probation may be implemented as the initial form of sentencing for a crime.
A person under probation, the probationer, has a completely different status than an ordinary citizen. If the probationer has performed satisfactorily, has not been found in violation of any terms or conditions of supervision, and has met all financial sanctions imposed by the court he/she might be eligible for an early termination of probation. Upon the termination of the period of probation, the probationer shall be released from probation and is not liable to sentence for the offense for which probation was allowed.
Types of Probation
While the basis of all forms of probation is similar, there are different types of probation, each with their own conditions. The type of probation a person is assigned is generally dependent on the criminal charge.
The Florida Statutes define the following forms of supervision to be administered by the Department of Corrections:
- Administrative Probation: A form of noncontact supervision in which an offender who presents a low risk of harm to the community may, upon satisfactory completion of half the term of probation, be transferred by the Department of Corrections to nonreporting status until expiration of the term of supervision.
- Community Control: A form of intensive, supervised custody in the community, including surveillance on weekends and holidays, administered by officers with restricted caseloads. Community control is an individualized program in which the freedom of an offender is restricted within the community, home, or noninstitutional residential placement and specific sanctions are imposed and enforced.
- Criminal Quarantine Community Control: Intensive supervision, by officers with restricted caseloads, with a condition of 24-hour-per-day electronic monitoring, and a condition of confinement to a designated residence during designated hours.
- Drug Offender Probation: A form of intensive supervision which emphasizes treatment of drug offenders in accordance with individualized treatment plans administered by officers with restricted caseloads. Caseloads should be restricted to a maximum of 50 cases per officer in order to ensure an adequate level of staffing.
- Probation: A form of community supervision requiring specified contacts with parole and probation officers and other terms and conditions as provided in s. 948.03.
- Community Residential Drug Punishment Center: A residential drug punishment center designated by the Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections shall adopt rules as necessary to define and operate such a center.
- Sex Offender Probation/ Sex Offender Community Control: A form of intensive supervision, with or without electronic monitoring, which emphasizes treatment and supervision of a sex offender in accordance with an individualized treatment plan administered by an officer who has a restricted caseload and specialized training. An officer who supervises an offender placed on sex offender probation or sex offender community control must meet as necessary with a treatment provider and polygraph examiner to develop and implement the supervision and treatment plan, if a treatment provider and polygraph examiner specially trained in the treatment and monitoring of sex offenders are reasonably available.
The terms of your probation are likely unique to your individual case.
Actions that constitute a probation violation will depend on the crime
you were charged with, the details of your case, and other factors.
Most probation terms require a person to regularly report to a probation officer. Meeting with a probation officer may involve simply “checking in” or require more in-depth discussions about probation terms and a person’s progress. If a person fails to meet with their probation officer, they can face penalties for a probation violation.
Additional terms of probation may include rules against leaving a certain area (typically the state), mandatory drug testing, not being able to drink alcohol or visit places where alcohol is served, the completion of polygraph tests, and the inability to interact with certain people or participate in certain activities. A probation violation would involve directly disobeying these terms.
Charged with VOP? We Can Help!
Probation violation charges are serious, but they are not impossible to
overcome with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. We can present a case
that defends your actions and convinces the prosecution that a violation
did not take place or help to reduce the penalties for a probation violation.
Our attorneys can also help you with ending your probationary period before the established date. It is possible that you may qualify for the termination of your probation if you have completely followed its terms and exhibited “good behavior,” or otherwise seem to have served your time and can be freed from supervision.
Contact Us to Learn More
We are available to discuss the terms of your probation, potential violations, and other aspects of your situation. It is our goal to offer you the best representation possible and provide you with a favorable result. We will advise you of your legal rights and ensure your rights are protected throughout the progression of your case.
Complete our contact form or call (407) 500-0000 to speak with our team.