Community control is a form of punishment that’s used in both federal and state court as a post-conviction sentence for felony offenses. Community control is a strict type of supervision where the person convicted is confined to their home at all times, with very few exceptions. Think of it as an extreme form of house arrest with random visits by community control officers.
In federal criminal court, sentencing can be time in prison, community control, or a combination of both. Judges will often sentence time in prison that’s followed by community control before the sentencing is complete. A key point in sentencing during both Florida State and Federal court is that a criminal conviction must be precise on the terms and conditions of community-based sentences commanded in the community control plan.
In Central Florida, community control sentences are a common element of sentences for felonies. At The Umansky Law Firm, we advocate for those facing community control and criminal sanctions. Our attorneys understand that community control and probation sanctions are not set to standard, and the severity of these sanctions varies from one case to another. If you’re facing community control violations in Orlando, speak with our attorneys to learn more about the criminal process.
Post-conviction sentences can be probation or community control. Probation is a specification of sentencing that allows a convicted person to stay and live in their community, rather than in prison. The primary difference between probation and community control is that those on probation may leave their homes freely without fear of violation. A person sentenced to community control may not leave their home voluntarily except for specific and limited purposes approved by the supervising officer, like going to work, school, a doctor’s appointment, or community service.
Community control conditions can be modified after sentencing. Any motion to change a community control condition must go through the same jurisdiction where sentencing took place – at either a Florida criminal court or federal criminal court. If, for example, a Florida criminal court judge imposed a sentence of community control under Florida’s criminal law, jurisdiction is held by the state, and any modifications must be heard by a Florida state criminal judge – not a federal judge. The same rule applies in reference to supervision. The Florida Department of Corrections supervises those sentenced to probation and community control in Florida criminal court; if the sentencing was imposed in federal court, the United States Bureau of Prisons supervises.
Only a criminal attorney can request a court hearing to have the conditions for community control modified. If you’re sentenced to community control, it’s essential to keep in close contact with your attorney. Once you’re sentenced to community control sanctions, only your attorney can set a hearing to address condition modifications. If you’ve been on community control supervision for some time without any violations, you can request that your attorney set a hearing to modify the conditions. Orange County criminal courts and federal courts both have hearings daily during the week to address motions, modifications, and violations to community control.
In addition to a sentence of community control or probation, a judge may impose special conditions during sentencing. Florida and federal criminal judges are required to limit these special conditions reasonably to the crime committed.
Examples of special conditions include:
Examples of educational courses that the court might order include classes for domestic violence awareness, anger management, and substance abuse. In some cases, a judge might demand that a defendant write a letter of apology to the plaintiff or issue no-contact orders. Depending on the circumstances, special conditions vary from one case to the next.
A sentence of community control or probation involves strict travel restrictions. If you’re on community control, you must stay within your respected county. The only time travel is permitted outside the county is with special permission from the criminal court judge. To travel outside the state, the supervising judge must grant permission. As is the case with requesting modifications to community control conditions, only a criminal defense attorney can set a hearing for any travel request beyond the allowed areas required in the community control order declared at sentencing.
Florida criminal law caps community control sentences at a maximum of two years. After 50% of the community control sentence has been completed without violation, your attorney can request that it be lowered to a term of probation, or possibly an early termination. Like violating probation, community control violations come with severe consequences. Your community control officer will file an affidavit of the breach, and the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. After being taken into custody, most offenders are held without bond while the courts and your attorney attempt to resolve the matter.
Community control is a strict sentence, so even a walk in the neighborhood after dark can mean violating the sanctions. The consequences of violating community control in Florida are severe. If you’ve been arrested in the Orlando area and are facing felony charges or community control sanctions, please contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for help.
At The Umansky Law Firm, we are committed to defending your case and doing everything possible to make sure you don’t spend years in the criminal justice system. You can be sure that our firm will thoroughly investigate your charges and build a strong and convincing defense. To schedule a free consultation, complete an online contact form or call our office today.
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