MODIFICATIONS

The court has jurisdiction to modify probationary conditions at any time.  An attorney can also file motions for modifications or clarification of your probation conditions.  Travel restrictions, curfews, “no contact” provisions and the like can be eliminated or replaced with more appropriate sanctions.  Do not expect, however, that the court would grant a modification without a very good reason and without a good performance record.

EARLY TERMINATION

The court also has jurisdiction to terminate probation before its full term.  Most judges will not consider discharging a probationer prior to the halfway point.  All monies and special conditions must be satisfied, and chances are best if there has been no violations registered.  Consult Lawrence Shearer, PLLC to discuss whether a motion’s odds for success.

OUR ADVICE FOR PROBATIONERS

CONDITIONS.  Know the conditions of your probation, including Standard Conditions and any Special Conditions.  Keep your copy of the Order of Probation in a Probation Folder, along with other sentencing and plea agreement documents.

PROBATION FOLDER.  In your Folder, also keep the receipts of your monetary payments toward fines, costs and restitution, as well as your cost of supervision payments to D.O.C. in Tallahassee.  Also keep in it your records of evaluations, treatment, classes, community service, etc.

LOG BOOK.  Maintain a Log Book of all contacts with the probation office.  Log your telephone contacts, home visits and other communications with your officer, as well as your regular reporting.  Make a note of instructions, clarifications, concessions or permissions made by your officer.  Log the name and telephone number for each officer and the dates when a new one is assigned.

ATTITUDE.  It does no good to display anger or a combative attitude toward a probation officer.  Most will shoot you down to show you who is boss – and you are on their turf.  If you feel your officer is being unreasonable or creating conditions the judge did not impose, your option is register a complaint with his or her supervisor.  But if you do, be diplomatic.  A good plan is to put your complaint in writing, but first have reviewed by someone objective – or even by a lawyer.

DANGER ZONE.  Should your supervising officer warn or even hint that you are close to being violated, consider consulting a lawyer.  We may have ideas to fi the problem before it gets to an arrest stage.  We charge a fee for and intervention, but it is less than the fee to handle a violation case.

TERMS WORTH KNOWING

Standard conditions:

The conditions listed in Florida Statutes section 948.03 apply to everyone on supervision.

Special conditions:

These must have been orally announced by the judge at the sentencing hearing, as well as being listed in the court’s Probation Order.  Many are denoted by a marked checkbox in the Order.

Sexual offender conditions:

Listed in Florida Statues section 948.30, these apply automatically to those convicted of specified sexual or computer crimes.

New Law Violation:

The probationer has been charged with committing a new crime while supervision.

Technical Violation:

Any violation of the conditions of probation other than new law violations.

Community control:

Intense supervision, commonly known as “house arrest”.  Community control is closer to incarceration than probation, except the incarceration is at home, rather than in a jail or prison.

Revocation:

When a probation is revoked, the court imposes a new sentence, usually incarceration.  The sentence must satisfy the Criminal Punishment Code scoring for “lowest permissible sentence”, calculated after points have been added for the probation violation event.  A modification of probation is not a revocation, so there is no CPC (sentencing guidelines) recalculation and withheld adjudication status can often be maintained.

V.F.O.S.C.:

“Violent felons of special concern” are those on probation for offenses listed in Florida Statutes section 948.xx, which include residential burglary…., as well as the obvious violent felonies such as aggravated assault and battery, robbery, etc.  A V.F.O.S.C. probationer is eligible for bond or release if arrested for and violation other than unpaid cost of supervision.

Lawrence Shearer, PLLC

Lawrence Shearer, PLLC provides representation for all misdemeanor and felony offense clients in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, and Highlands County, Florida. This includes, but is not limited to DUI, domestic violence offenses, drug offenses, drug trafficking, theft, frauds, firearm offenses, burglary, sexual offenses, pornography, white collar crimes, robbery, battery, appeals, probation violations, and murder cases. We can also handle the sealing and expunging of criminal records.

Lawrence Shearer, PLLC provides you with an experienced Lakeland criminal defense attorney & lawyer. Contact Lawrence Shearer, PLLC at (863) 665-6895, to schedule a free confidential legal consultation.

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Shearer Defense can handle cases in the investigative stage and can help persuade law enforcement to not file formal charges. Retaining Lawrence Shearer, PLLC in the initial phases of a criminal case increases your chances for a successful resolution of your case. If necessary, our firm employs private investigators and forensic specialists to fully investigate your case, and to protect your rights. We file all appropriate pretrial motions to litigate the defenses you may have. If your case goes to trial, we will pick a jury, cross-examine State witnesses, and present your defenses.

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