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Answers to Your Florida Probation Questions

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may be wondering what probation entails. Here’s a look at the most common probation questions:

What is probation? Probation is an alternative to sentencing that is ordered by a judge. If you successfully complete the terms of your probation, the sentence of the court is withheld. In this manner, the judge may also withhold the adjudication of your guilt, and you may not be convicted of the offense. If this happens, you may be able to seal your record after you complete your probation.

What do I have to do? If you are placed on probation, you need to follow general and specific conditions. If you don’t, you will violate your probation. The general conditions are set by statute and include the following conditions, amongst others:

  • Restrict your travel
  • Attend monthly meetings with your probation officer
  • Be prepared for unscheduled visits by your probation officer at your home and work
  • Comply with all special conditions
  • Don’t violate any other laws

What are special conditions? At your sentencing, the judge can order certain conditions you must meet. These may include paying a fine, completing a certain number of hours of community service, attending a counseling program, restrictions on where you go and who you see, and more.

What happens if I violate my probation? Your probation officer will report your violation to the judge. The judge can either issue a warrant for your arrest or dismiss the violation. If the judge issues a warrant, you will be arrested or, if it is a misdemeanor case, you may be allowed to turn yourself in. In most cases, a bond hearing will be held where the violation will be resolved. If not, the case proceeds to a violation hearing.

To learn more about probation and what to do if you have violated the terms of your probation, contact our experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys.