Probation comes with conditions. First off, you must report to your probation
officer. Secondly, you may be required to complete special conditions
of probation, such as payment of restitution, completion of community
service hours, completion of a class, as well as any other conditions
that the court may place upon you.
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.
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
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
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
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,
. 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.