What is Unsupervised Probation and How Do You Get it?
When you are charged with a criminal offense, you might receive court-ordered probation instead of jail time. Although probation is preferable to a jail sentence, it still requires probationers to follow specific rules and restrictions. Most people facing criminal charges hope to get unsupervised probation. Out of the various forms of probation, it has the fewest rules and restrictions. In most cases, unsupervised probation allows people to keep their job and return to normal life.
While coveted by those faced with criminal charges, unsupervised probation still requires probationers to follow court-ordered conditions. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can fight for your eligibility for unsupervised probation. Here is some useful information on unsupervised probation in Florida.
Unsupervised Probation in Florida
Different states have different probation parameters. In Florida, probation is defined as court-ordered supervision; if you are put on probation, you are required to follow all the conditions outlined in your court hearing. Common conditions ordered during probation include:
- Drug testing
- Paying fines
- Attending counseling or therapy sessions
- Meeting with a probation officer
- Participating in court-ordered classes
- Adhering to a court-ordered curfew
Unsupervised probation, commonly referred to as administrative probation, is the least strict form of probation you can be ordered by a court. Other forms of probation include:
- Drug offender probation
- Community control (house arrest)
- Standard probation
- Sex offender probation
The conditions of unsupervised probation vary by case but are generally less strict than other forms of probation. Usually, unsupervised probation doesn’t require regular meetings with a probation officer or adherence to a court-ordered curfew.
The Conditions of Unsupervised Probation
If you are put on unsupervised probation, you won’t be under constant surveillance. However, you will be required to follow the conditions outlined in your probation requirements. The court- ordered conditions will be specific to your case. For example, if you were charged with a DUI, your probation conditions will probably include drug testing and alcohol counseling. The best way to ensure fair conditions for your probation is hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Am I Eligible for Unsupervised Probation?
After reviewing your case and criminal history, a judge will determine if you are eligible for probation. In Florida, the degree of your crime does not influence your eligibility for unsupervised probation; individuals who are charged with felonies and misdemeanors are both eligible. However, judges only grant probation to individuals who are unlikely to commit future offenses. If you have been found guilty of repeated offenses or serious felonies, it is unlikely that you will receive unsupervised probation.
If the judge handling your case determines that unsupervised probation is appropriate, they will determine the length of the probationary period. In Florida, the majority of unsupervised probation periods are issued for four years. However, the judge could issue a probationary period that lasts as little as six months or as long as ten years.
The Consequences of Violating Probation Conditions
If you violate any of the terms of your probation, you could be arrested and charged with a Violation of Probation (VOP). Florida has very strict probation laws. If you are charged with a VOP, it is likely you will face further penalties or jail time.
VOP consequences depend on the classification of your violation. VOPs are classified as either technical or substantive violations. Technical probation violations include minor breaches of probation, such as failing to pay a court fee or missing a court-ordered class. Typically, these probation violations have more lenient consequences. Substantive violations occur when someone commits a new offense while on probation. These violations are considered more serious and often have the most severe consequences.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether you are a first-time offender or have been through the criminal justice system before, being charged with a crime in Florida is a trying experience. Unsupervised probation can help you retain your freedoms and maintain a level of normalcy in your daily life. At The Umansky Law Firm, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to helping you get the probation terms you deserve. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team has the skills and expertise to fight for your second chance. To schedule a free consultation, call our office or complete an online contact form for a free consultation.