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Conditions of Probation in Florida

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Like other states, Florida has the option to issue a probation order as an alternative to imprisoning someone in some cases. Probation will allow a defendant to retain some of their freedoms, provided they follow the strict guidelines and conditions set forth by the courts. A violation of your probation can have serious legal consequences, including additional charges and fines/penalties.

General Probation Conditions

Chapter 948.03 of the Florida Statutes deals with standard probation conditions. The court is the one who will determine the offender’s probation terms. However, all the terms included in Chapter 948 are considered to be standard conditions, whether or not they are specifically pronounced during the court hearing. These could include requiring you to:

  • Meet your probation officer when directed
  • Allow the probation officer to visit you at home or wherever else
  • Work at suitable employment
  • Stay at a specific location
  • Commit no more legal violations
  • Pay ordered restitution, application fees, legal costs, etc. as ordered by the court
  • Support any legal dependents
  • Take random tests for controlled substances and/or alcohol
  • Keep away from those known to engage in criminal behavior
  • Possess no firearms
  • Possess no weapons without consent of the probation officer
  • Have blood or other biological specimens withdrawn as directed, plus reimburse the agencies who conduct the tests
  • Have a digital photograph taken which the probation department will include on their public website while under probation

If the offense involves a controlled substance violation, and this probation period follows incarceration in the Florida correctional system, the court must include probation conditions that includes the requirement that you submit to random substance abuse tests throughout the probationary period.

Types of Probation 

Probation typically falls into a specific category. If the circuit court handles your case, it’s a felony probation, whereas a case handled by the county court is a misdemeanor probation. There is not much difference between these, except for the jurisdiction. The courts have the right to sentence you to different types of probation. These include:

  • Standard Probation — This is where you regularly report to your probation officer and follow all the basic standards set forth in the Florida statutes.
  • Administrative Probation — This is similar to standard probation, but it’s administrative, or “non-reporting.” You do not need to meet with your probation officer
  • Sex Offender Probation — Offenders sentenced to a sex offender probation must adhere to a very strict treatment program and will be monitored by a surveillance officer.
  • Drug Offender Probation — This is specific for those who have been charged with drug-related offenses. There will be a strict substance abuse program and you must submit to random drug tests.

In addition, there is the option for “house arrest,” which is known as community control. It is the strictest type of probation as you will be under supervised custody round the clock.

Retaining a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, retaining a skilled West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney is imperative. Criminal charges are a serious matter that can have lifelong consequences. You need an experienced attorney who can defend your rights and prepare the best defense possible. The criminal attorneys at Scott Berry Law, P.A. have over 15 years of experience in representing Florida residents in both state and federal courts. Contact our office at 561-370-7420 to schedule a consultation.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0948/Sections/0948.03.html

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