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When Are Floridians Eligible for Probation?
Most people who have been convicted of a crime breathe a huge sigh of relief when they are sentenced to probation instead of jail or prison. It’s true that probation has a number of benefits over incarceration. However, any Floridian under probation must comply with a number of conditions. Not everyone is eligible for probation, either. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the more important things to know about probation.
There Are Different Types of Probation
Depending on the nature of the crime and several other factors, an individual will be placed on one of five types of probation. These types are:
- Sex offender probation – Floridians who receive probation after a conviction for a sex crime will be under constant surveillance. This type of probation typically requires the offender to complete a treatment program.
- Drug offender probation – Individuals convicted of drug crimes are subject to regular meetings with their probation officer and drug testing (routine and random).
- Administrative probation – This type of probation is mild relative to other types. As long as individuals complete other terms of their probation, they will not meet with a probation officer under administrative probation.
- Standard probation – Under normal circumstances, an individual on probation will regularly meet with their probation officer to check in on their progress and make sure they are abiding by the terms of probation. This is simply referred to as standard probation.
- Community control – You probably know this form of probation better as house arrest. This is the strictest type of probation. Individuals under community control are typically tracked via GPS technology and must remain in their house and other approved spaces.
Probation Is Not Always Available
Make no mistakes, probation is a form of punishment. Judges may sentence individuals to probation instead of prison or as a condition of release. Some crimes render the defendant ineligible for probation in lieu of prison, as mandatory minimum sentences apply to a few state crimes in Florida.
Violation of Probation Is a Crime
Perhaps the most important thing to know about probation in Florida is that it is a privilege and not a right. Violating the terms of your probation is a crime. Unfortunately, the standard of proof required to prove a probation violation is lower than it is for almost all other crimes. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed the underlying crime.
However, the prosecution must only convince a judge that you violated your probation. You do not have the right to a jury trial or reasonable bond in a probation violation case. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to abide by every single term of your probation.
Probation is almost always preferable to jail or prison, but you will not get sentenced to probation by accident. A skilled Florida attorney is your greatest resource when you’re facing the might of the criminal justice system. An effective lawyer can help get you probation in a plea deal or through an effective strategy during the sentencing phase.
Petkovich Law Firm helps Floridians deal with the stress of a criminal allegation and provides a first-class defense. Reach out to discuss your legal needs with us today.
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