Florida Probation Modification Lawyer
Probation is an alternative to incarceration and can sometimes be considered a positive outcome for a person charged with an offense and facing serious jail or prison time if convicted. However, an order of probation often comes with a host of terms and conditions that must be followed, and failure to comply can lead to a charge of probation violation and the possibility of an increased sentence or jail time on top of the original sentence. When the needs of an individual on probation require a modification of those terms, a Florida probation modification lawyer at the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit in Gainesville provides knowledgeable, effective representation in proceedings to modify or terminate probation in Florida.
Common Reasons for Probation Modification Proceedings in Florida
There are countless conditions that could be placed on a probationer, and the terms of probation are unique to the individual circumstances. That said, there are also many conditions common to most probation agreements, and common reasons for seeking a modification of those terms. Common reasons for probation modification proceedings in Florida are discussed below.
Modify Curfew – A curfew may be imposed in the probation agreement or through oral pronouncement at the sentencing hearing. Sometimes a curfew can interfere with job responsibilities, such as when a person works an evening shift and cannot make it home before the imposed curfew. In such a situation, it would serve the purposes of probation to modify the curfew to a later time. When the underlying offense is one of certain sex offenses involving minors, a mandatory curfew is a standard condition of probation or community control. Typically the curfew period is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., although the court can order a different 8-hour period for work-related reasons.
Modify Part of an Order – A condition of probation may be a no contact order with children or with a former spouse or partner. This condition could prevent an individual from having contact with his or her own child. It may be possible to convince the court that it is in the best interests of the child to allow contact with the probationer, and to modify that part of the no contact order accordingly.
Lift a Geographic Restriction – The probation agreement may impose a geographic restriction prohibiting the probationer from traveling outside of a designated area. The probationer may need to leave the designated area for employment, family matters and other reasons. Rather than run the risk of being violated and sent to jail, the probationer should contact an attorney for help in seeking a lifting or modification of the geographic restriction from the court.
Early Termination – The option to obtain early termination of probation may be written into the Order of Probation, or it may have been promised at sentencing but left off the order. Regardless of whether early termination was provided for or not, it is up to the probationer to request early termination by petitioning the court. Early termination may be available if the probationer has abided by all the terms of probation (community service, restitution, education or work program, residential treatment, etc.), paid all fines and costs, and avoided any arrests or other law enforcement contact. The court may grant or deny early termination and may hold a hearing on the petition. Florida Statutes section 948.04 allows the Department of Corrections to recommend early termination of probation to the court at any time before the scheduled termination date, provided the probationer has performed satisfactorily, met all financial sanctions imposed by the court, and has not been found in violation of any terms or conditions of supervision.
Call Gilbert A. Schaffnit in Gainesville for Representation in Florida Probation Modification Proceedings
To learn more about the possibility of modification or early termination of your Florida probation, call a Florida probation modification proceedings lawyer at the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit in Gainesville at 352-378-6593.