Early termination from probation is permitted by Florida law. Florida Statutes section 948.04(3) states, "If the probationer has performed satisfactorily, has not been found in violation of any terms or conditions of supervision, and has met all financial sanctions imposed by the court, including, but not limited to, fines, court costs, and restitution, the Department of Corrections may recommend early termination of probation to the court at any time before the scheduled termination date."
So what does this all mean?
As a rule of thumb, you should not move for early termination until you have completed at least half of your probationary term. That means that if you are on two years of probation, you should not move for early termination until you have completed one year of probation. Most judges will deny early termination motions outright if you have not completed at least half the term.
If you have completed half the term, you have fulfilled all conditions of probation (including monetary conditions), and your probation officer does not object to early termination, then it is very likely that you will be able to get off of probation early.
However, if you have had any probation violations, you still owe money, you still have outstanding conditions (like unfinished classes or community service hours), or your probation officer objects to early termination for whatever reason, then your motion for early termination will likely be denied.
Early termination from probation is a gift. Realistically, you were sentenced to a full term of probation and you are asking to Court to cut that sentence in half. Many judges are reasonable and are willing to terminate your probation early. You just have to show the Court that you are worthy of such a gift.
Probation is an alternative to jail or prison. It is a sentence that permits you to remain free while fulfilling certain conditions. Judges want to see that you have learned your lesson and will not violate the law again. Show the Court that you "get it" and early termination will likely be given to you.
Another reason for denial? Let's say that you are placed on probation for a very serious offense, such as a violent felony. In that case, the Court may deny early termination because they need to see you complete the full term in order to be satisfied that you are not at risk to commit another crime.
If you are on probation in Miami-Dade County or Broward County and you want to discuss your eligibility for early termination with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please feel free to call me.