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Understanding Florida's Probation System

  • Time in jail or prison, financial penalties, public embarrassment. These are some of the less desirable penalties you can face if you’re accused of committing a crime. But you could also be facing probation in Florida, and that could leave you with lots of questions and uncertainty.

    Thousands of people are on probation in Florida at any given time, and while it may sound scary, probation can be a nice alternative to time behind bars. However, if you’ve been placed on probation or even accused of violating the terms of your probation, you’re going to want to have some understanding of Florida’s probation system.

    Your attorney at Hersem Law can help you navigate these choppy legal waters, but we’ve also taken the liberty of compiling some important information about probation in Florida below.

    What Is Probation? 

    In Florida, people who enter a plea to a criminal offense or are found guilty after trial can be sentenced to probation. This means you won’t necessarily have to go to jail or prison, but you’ll still be subject to a period of supervision and some rules and terms that go along with it.

    For example, you could be required to pay fines and costs, do community service hours, complete certain classes or treatment sessions, avoid alcohol and drugs, submit to drug testing, get a job, and/or check in with a probation officer at scheduled intervals, among other possible requirements. You’ll also be required to avoid committing any new law violations. The length of time you are placed on probation will vary based on the type of charge you were sentenced for.

    The terms of your probation are not suggestions—you must follow them or you risk facing a violation of probation. If you violate your probation, you’ll have to go back in front of the judge, and you can potentially be sentenced up to the maximum penalty for the original charge. That could mean going to jail or prison or possibly having additional conditions added to your sentence.  

    The most important goal after you’ve been sentenced to probation is to get through it as quickly as possible and without any violations. That way, you can get yourself out of the system and back to living life on your own terms.

    Contact Hersem Law

    Probation can be a great opportunity to keep your life on track, even if you’re convicted of a crime. While it can limit you in certain ways, it may be a wonderful alternative to jail or prison time. However, even if it’s the best way to resolve your case, it can be intimidating and difficult if you’re not familiar with how the probation system works in Florida. 

    If you have questions about your probation, the lawyers at Hersem Law can help. We understand how confusing the different legal terms can be, and we understand that you need someone on your side to help you figure it all out. If you’re not sure where to begin, your Tampa criminal defense lawyer at our firm can help you get started with a free strategy session. 

    Ready to begin? Reach out for more information from our attorneys. Give us a call at 813-251-7291 or visit our website for more information about our services.