If you have been sentenced to a term of probation following a conviction for a criminal offense in Florida you were likely ecstatic when you heard you were not being sentenced to jail time. Probation probably sounded great at the time; however, after spending several months on probation you may now feel differently. Probation is costly, restrictive, and requires a good deal of your time in many cases. At this point, you may be wondering “ Can I terminate my probation early in Florida? ” The simple answer to that question is “Maybe”.

Undeniably, being sentenced to probation is preferable to a prison or jail sentence. At the same time, spending months, or even years, on probation can be its own version of jail. As a probationery, you are subject to a search of your home at any time. You cannot leave the state, much less the country (and in some cases even the county) without permission. A change in address, employment, even marital status must be reported. Essentially, you must live your life under a microscope. Worst of all, you have to pay for living like this! Understandably, most probationers eventually start to wonder if there is a way to terminate their probation early.

The good news is that it is possible to terminate your probation early in Florida. The bad news is that there is no absolute right to early termination. Ultimately, a judge will decide whether or not you are allowed to terminate your probation early. First, however, you need to have completed at least half of your probationary term and completed all special conditions of your probation. Special conditions are things like counseling or classes, community service work, and payment of fines and costs. If you meet these conditions you could be eligible to terminate early.

To request early termination your criminal defense attorney will file a petition with the court asking to terminate your probation early. The court will then schedule a hearing on the matter. At the hearing your attorney will present all relevant facts to the judge for consideration. Prior to the hearing you should consult with your attorney and provide him/her with any positive facts about you during your term of probation that might help. For example, if you finished/enrolled in school, have remained gainfully employed, or completed a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, make sure your attorney knows about it. These are the kinds of facts a judge likes to hear when considering a petition to terminate probation early. If the judge is convinced that you deserve a break, your probation term will be terminated early.

If you have specific questions about early termination of your probation in Florida consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Powers, Sellers, & Finkelstein PLC by calling 727-531-2926 today to schedule your appointment.