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Early Termination of Probation

Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Fort Lauderdale

If you've been convicted of a crime in Broward County, probation may be part of your sentence. Sometimes terminating probation is possible. This means there may be an end to mandatory classes or counseling, as well as an end to drug testing and restrictions on where you go. A benefit of removing probation is removing the chance that you will violate probation terms and face upsetting consequences. If you are on probation for a criminal conviction, you should know that you may be able to petition for early termination of probation. A skilled Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine your legal options.


Probation is also called community supervision. Under Florida Statute section 948.03, a Broward County judge has substantial discretion when imposing probation terms. These terms may include a requirement that you report to a probation officer on a regular basis, that you permit a probation officer to visit you in the workplace or at home, that you make a good faith effort to get a job or work in suitable employment, that you stay in a certain geographical area, that you support your legal dependents, that you not get arrested or violate the law, that you are prohibited from carrying a firearm without approval from a probation officer, and that you not associate with people involved in criminal activities.

Officers of the state oversee probation and impose conditions on a defendant who has been convicted. Often the convicted may dread probation because what seems like a trivial violation of probation terms and conditions can result in being imprisoned again. Most people would therefore like to have probation terminate early.

Under Florida Statute section 948.012(1), if you are convicted of a felony, you can't serve more than 2 years of probation unless the court orders otherwise or you have a split sentence. In a split sentence, a defendant is sentenced to prison, but some portion of the later part of this time is served on probation. If you're put under probation because of a sexual battery or child abuse conviction, you will be subject to maximum supervision that can continue throughout probation or community control.

Early Termination of Probation in Fort Lauderdale

If you've been found guilty of felony sexual battery in Fort Lauderdale under Florida Statute section 794 or of felony child abuse under Florida Statute section 827, you will not be able to obtain early termination of probation. However, even if your conviction is not for these types of offenses, you will need to be eligible for early termination. Your criminal defense lawyer can evaluate whether you may be eligible.

In order to be eligible to petition for early termination of probation, you must have finished at least half of your judicially imposed probationary term. This can include going to substance abuse treatment and performing community service. You must have paid off any restitution imposed by the court, and paid off financial obligations like the cost of investigation, fines, the costs of prosecuting your case, and any public defender lien.

Additionally you need to have performed probation terms and conditions to the satisfaction of your probation officer and the court. The court must not have found that you violated probation terms and conditions. You must have paid the court's financial sanctions, such as restitution, court costs, and any fines imposed.

Only when you are eligible and all conditions have been met will early termination of probation be recommended. Moreover, terminating probation early is at the court's discretion. The court is more likely to grant you an early termination if you are on probation because of a nonviolent offense. It's less likely to provide an early termination of probation on a violent offense conviction or for repeat offense convictions. The court doesn't have to provide an early termination of probation simply because you requested that termination.

Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you've been convicted of a crime in Fort Lauderdale and believe you're eligible for early termination of probation, skilled criminal defense lawyer Evan Hoffman can help you understand your options. The Hoffman Firm also represents clients in communities including Davie, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, and Sunrise. Call us at (954) 524-4474 or contact us via our online form for a free, confidential consultation.

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