In Florida, house arrest as a judicial sentence is referred to as community
control. It is similar to probation except that the individual is confined
to their home. Typically, the court will allow this person to go to work
and school, but nowhere else.
Community control is a harsh sentence as it is very easy to violate. If
the community control officer (similar to a probation officer) calls or
drops by for an unexpected visit, you could be violated. Imagine...something
as mundane as going to Publix could land you in state prison.
Community control is only available as a sentence or plea bargain for felony
offenses, such as
, and failure to register as a sexual offender. For more serious felony
offenses, such as
, burglary with an assault or battery, or even attempted
, community control may be available provided the
criminal defense attorney is able to demonstrate the weaknesses in the State's case.
For more serious offenses, community control is obviously better than prison,
but the idea of not leaving one's home is a tough pill to swallow.
Even little things like running down the street to the grocery store,
or making a quick errand to the post office can result in your being violated.
As a criminal defense lawyer who practices in Miami and Broward, I am familiar
with community control as both a sentence and as a plea. Furthermore,
I understand that when somebody on community control is violated, they
may require immediate legal assistance.
Community control violations are similar to
. That means that the State of Florida need only prove the violation by
the greater weight of the evidence. When a client is faced with a community
control violation, I always try to negotiate the best resolution that
would avoid a community control violation hearing. At the hearing, the
client faces the maximum amount of prison time that they would have faced
on the underlying charge. For instance, if the client is on community
burglary of an unoccupied dwelling
, a violation of community control could send them to prison for 15 years.
today if you or someone you know has a community control violation, or
an open case where community control is a possible sentence.