In criminal cases, there often lies a possibility for an offender to be released from imprisonment early on probation. Probation may also be granted as a condition of an early release. Those who wish to terminate their probation early may request a review for a number of reasons. Certain eligibility requirements apply, and anyone who is granted an early probation must adhere to any required conditions or procedure as imposed by the court.
What are the benefits of an early termination of probation?
There are plenty of reasons and benefits that result from the early termination of probation. It can lead to the end of supervision as well as the monthly supervision fees. Any counseling or therapy classes and their associated fees may also end. Random drug and alcohol classes would also come to an end and the ability to freely travel by leaving the city or state can resume. All of the restrictions coming to an end will also help the offender rehabilitate themselves as a productive and capable member of society much sooner.
Here in Florida, even if a convicted offender believes they are not eligible for an early termination of probation, we often find that they may still be able to terminate their probation early anyway. Regardless of the underlying offense, and regardless of what a judge may have said at sentencing, Florida Law permits anyone the right to petition for an early termination of probation. And according to Florida Statutes 984.05, the court is permitted to terminate probation at any time for any reason.
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What are the eligibility requirements for early termination of probation?
In the State of Florida, anyone is eligible to file for an early termination of probation. However, this does not mean a judge is required to grant or approve the request. Fortunately, there are a few factors our attorneys can assist with which should certainly help increase the chances of the judge agreeing with those requests and granting the motion.
For anyone wondering what those factors may be, a quick review of the Florida Statutes § 984.04 lists the following factors as reasonable grounds to make the request:
- Serving at least half of your probationary period before filing a petition to terminate probation;
- Paying all required costs and fees associated with your probation; and
- Completing all other requirements of your probation including community service requirements or attending classes and substance abuse counseling.
Additionally, the probation requirements for every offender will probably be different. Those requirements will be available from two sources – when the judge initially announced them in court at the time of sentencing, and also in the Order of Probation.
What is the process for early termination of probation?
Provided an individual has met the above stated eligibility requirements as per the Florida Statutes, and generally completed at least half of their probationary sentence, as well as having met any other requirements as set forth in the Order of Probation, they will be provided with an opportunity to file a Motion to Terminate Probation Early in order to apply for early termination of probation. A qualified criminal defense attorney can assist by filing the motion on your behalf, while also strengthening the case for early termination of probation, and also ensuring all of the formalities, formatting and requirements are met.
Generally, a Motion for Early Termination of Probation will require the name of the person on probation, a case number, and the division where sentencing of the offender occurred. Your attorney will also include a Proposed Order for the judge to sign if the Motion for Early Termination of Probation request is granted.
A copy of the motion will be filed with the clerk’s office and a copy is also required to be sent to the offender’s probation officer, as well as another copy to the state attorney’s office. The clerk will set a hearing date after the motion is filed. Once the date is set, a Notice of Hearing will be filed and served on the offender’s probation officer as well as the state’s attorney’s office.
Why choose the Fernandez Law Group to represent you in a Petition for Early Termination of Probation?
There are a number of difficult requirements and steps that need to be taken in order to ensure the paperwork has been completely filled out. All of the information will need to be properly filed and served upon the correct people. Our attorneys will also work to ensure your hearing to terminate probation is heard as soon as possible. We can also help ensure all probation requirements have been met and also work with the probation officer in an effort to receive a favorable recommendation to present to the court.
The Tampa criminal defense attorneys at Fernandez Law Group are aggressive, dedicated, experienced and knowledgable in all types of early termination of probation hearings. Anyone can request our services on behalf of a defendant, including a family member or friend, or the defendant themselves. We will work hard to preserve the rights of our clients as soon as trouble arises. And not only do we cover the Tampa / Hillsborough / Pinellas areas of Florida, we cover the entire state as well and are available to assist you any time.
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Content authored by Frank Fernandez