Probation in Florida

The majority of criminal cases resolved by a plea in Florida result in the person being placed on supervised probation.

Definition of Probation

Probation is a form of supervision where a person (formerly called a "probationer") reports to a Probation Officer on a regular basis.

While on probation, a probationer is required to comply with the conditions of probation, make payments towards any financial obligations imposed by the court (such as restitution, fines, and court costs), and pay a monthly fee for the cost of supervision.

Failure to report to report to your Probation Officer or comply with the conditions of probation results in a Violation of Probation proceeding being initiated.

On the other hand, a probationer who reports as required and completes all conditions of probation early may petition the court Early Termination of Probation.

Types of Probation

In general, there are two types of supervised probation in Florida, either:

County Probation

All persons sentenced to probation by a County Court judge for a misdemeanor offense are placed on County Probation. In addition, offenders whose cases were formally charged as felonies, but then reduced to misdemeanors, are sometimes placed on County Probation at the judge's discretion.

County Probation is supervised through the County in which you are sentenced and generally allows for more relaxed forms of supervision than State Probation; such as by telephone or mail.

State Probation

All persons sentenced to probation for felony offenses are placed on State Probation. In addition, offenders whose cases were formally charged as felonies, but who pled to misdemeanors, can also be placed on State Probation.

State Probation is supervised through the Florida Department of Corrections, Community Corrections division. It is generally considered to be more unforgiving and strict than County Probation.

Conditions of Probation

All persons placed on probation in Florida, whether for a felony or a misdemeanor, are required to comply with any conditions of probation imposed by the court at sentencing.

Standard Conditions

The Standard Conditions of probation are imposed in every case where a person is placed on probation and are the minimum conditions of probation a person must comply with. [1]

Special Conditions

Special Conditions of probation are imposed on a case-by-case basis, which are usually imposed because of unique circumstances surrounding the particular offense for which a person was placed on probation for.

Examples of special conditions of probation are:

  • Anger Management
  • Community Service
  • Letters of Apology
  • No Contact Provisions
  • No Return Provisions
  • Substance Abuse Treatment

References