Probation in West Palm Beach, Florida
If you were recently arrested for a crime in West Palm Beach, Florida, you will be interested in learning about probation and what it entails. Because, if you plead guilty or if you are found guilty by a court of law, there is a strong possibility that you may be placed on probation.
Probation, otherwise called community supervision in some states, is a sentencing alternative to incarceration. Since America’s jails and prisons are overpopulated, placing a heavy economic burden on American taxpayers, probation is frequently used by judges in lieu of imprisonment.
Before a just places a defendant on probation, first the judge examines the totality of the offender’s circumstances to determine if placing the defendant on probation would place the general public in danger. If the judge feels that putting an offender on probation would not endanger the community, then the offender may be supervised in the community instead of being removed from society and put behind bars.
Terms and Conditions of Florida Probation
In Florida, the terms and conditions of probation can be found under Section 948.03 of the Florida Statutes. Under this section, it says that the terms and conditions of an offender’s probation shall be determined by the court. The conditions of probation vary because each offender’s situation is unique.
Common conditions of probation in Florida, include:
- Report to one’s probation officer (PO) as instructed.
- Allow the PO to visit his or her home or elsewhere.
- Stay employed at a legitimate job.
- Support one’s family (e.g. spouse and children).
- Do not leave the area without the PO’s permission.
- Obey all state and federal laws (do not get arrested).
- Do not use illegal substances.
- Pay all court-ordered fines.
- Pay victim restitution (where applicable).
- Submit to random drug testing.
- Do not own or possess any firearms.
Under Section 948.06 of the Florida Statutes, it’s illegal to violate one of the terms or conditions of probation or community control. If a PO has reason to believe that a probationer has violated their probation, the PO can have the probationer arrested without an arrest warrant and have him or her brought to court.
However, in some probation violation cases, a trial court judge will issue a warrant. Or, the trial judge may issue a notice to appear instead. The outcome of a probation violation hearing depends on the nature of the violation and the facts of the case. Such a violation may result in sanctions, a modification, or it may result in a probation revocation.
Are you facing criminal charges in West Palm Beach, or are you accused of violating your probation? Either way, contact my firm to discuss your case for free with a former prosecutor who is on your side!