Probation in Florida

Probation in Florida

If you are convicted of a crime that is eligible for probation in Florida, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations that go along with choosing probation. Florida has very strict laws for the probationer, and agreeing to probation is agreeing to give up quite a few rights and subject yourself to quite a few rules.

Reporting to your Probation Supervisor

If you are on probation in Florida, your Probation Supervisor has a lot of authority in your life. You must report to your supervisor when directed, and your supervisor can visit your home, work, etc. at any time to confirm that you are complying with the terms of your probation.

You cannot move out of your residence or county without permission from your supervisor. You cannot change employment without notifying your supervisor. Basically, your supervisor has absolute power. If you encounter a problem with your supervisor, make sure to do as they say and talk to your lawyer afterwards.

If the supervisor is breaking laws or conducting themselves inappropriately, it’s better to let your lawyer work it out, rather than getting in trouble for refusing to comply. Your probation officer will also administer random drug/alcohol tests, and you are responsible for paying for them.

Responsibilities and Restrictions

prison-cellIf you are on probation, there are a few responsibilities and restrictions to remember. You are not allowed to own a firearm or weapon of any kind. You cannot violate any law while on probation; it will result in a suspension of your probation. You must support your dependents, and not associate with anyone engaged in criminal activity. You must also submit your DNA and a digitized photograph of yourself for records purposes.

Financial Responsibilities

You are required to make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved party. The amount is determined by the court. You must also pay fees associated with your probation, including probation fees, drug/alcohol test fees, court and lawyer costs, and any debt due to the county that you accrued while incarcerated.

These are the basics of Florida probation laws. The court also has the power to add provisions to your probation guidelines. You should bear in mind that probation is considered a privilege. Florida abolished parole eligibility for almost every offense dated after 1983, so if your charge is minor enough to receive probation, take advantage of it. Criminals that are ineligible for probation will usually end up serving their entire term.

Further reading:

Official data on probation and parole in the United States