But most importantly, a condition of every form of probation is that you not get arrested while on probation. This is called a new law violation. If you get arrested, you will face penalties for not only your new charge, but for the charge for which you are on probation.
Probation violations often occur due to new law violations, but they can occur due to technical violations as well.
A "technical" violation would be something like testing positive for drugs, failing to report, not completing your community service hours, or failing to pay restitution. Technical violations are the most common probation violations.
However, if you are placed on non-reporting probation, you do not have to report. In fact, you really don't have to complete any special conditions at all. Sometimes this form of probation is called "administrative probation" because it really only exists on paper. You are technically on probation, but you do not have to report to a probation officer or complete any special conditions. Your only condition is not to get arrested. If you do, you can be violated much the same as you could if on reporting probation.
Administrative probation is a way that the court can maintain jurisdiction over you without subjecting you to the rigors of ordinary reporting probation.
Non-reporting probation is an option if you are trying for early termination of your probation.
If you have completed all of your special conditions, have had no violations, and are up-to-date on your fees, you may be able to ask the court for early termination of your probation. As a South Florida criminal defense attorney, I provide this service to clients.
However, you must complete a substantial portion of your probation prior to seeking early termination. For instance, if you are sentenced to three years of probation, you could probably ask for early termination at about eighteen months, provided you have completed everything.
If you have conditions that are incomplete, the judge will most likely not allow early termination.
Okay, but what if you are on probation for a serious offense (second-degree felony or higher), you have completed your conditions, but have a minor technical violation in your history.
The judge may not be willing to early terminate you outright, but he or she may consider commuting the remainder of your probation to non-reporting probation.
If the judge does this, you will have no more conditions of your probation. You do not need to report to a probation officer or pay standard probation fees. You do not need to perform any community hours or complete any conditions. Your only condition is not to get arrested. Pretty easy, huh?
This is good because it alleviates the strain of probation while allowing the probationer to continue without risking a technical violation. Technical violations are so easy to come by. If you have a bad relationship with your probation officer, he or she may be looking for ways to violate you. If you slip up just a little, they may not be willing to cut you some slack.
So on non-reporting probation, you do not have to worry about violating for technical reasons.
If you are seeking early termination of your probation, contact me. I represent clients charged with probation violations, as well as those who want early termination of their probation.
If early termination is not an option, commuting your probation to non-reporting probation may be the best alternative.