What’s the Difference Between Standard and Intensive Probation?
As far as probationers are concerned, all probation is intensive. Florida law contains a number of restrictive conditions. The judge isn’t legally required to inform the defendant of these standard conditions at the time of sentencing. Furthermore, Florida law gives judges almost complete discretion to add other conditions, as long as they don’t abuse their discretion when doing so.
To understand abuse of discretion, the standard of review in most criminal appeals, think of a baseball umpire. If an umpire calls a borderline pitch a ball or strike, the call might be a good call or a bad call, depending on your perspective. But if the umpire calls one of these pitches a strike, that’s a clearly wrong call which, in a court of law, would be an abuse of discretion.
Since the judge has such broad discretion in this area, a well-prepared Tampa probation and expungement attorney has an excellent chance to reduce or modify the terms and conditions of probation. This reduction or modification makes it much easier for probationers to serve their terms without violating the conditions of probation and ending up back in court. After the judge’s gavel falls, attorneys can also file motions to modify or terminate probation.
As the name implies, standard probation usually includes the standard conditions which are listed in Section 948.03. Some of these conditions include:
- Report to the probation officer as directed, usually monthly or bimonthly,
- Allow probation officers to visit them at their homes or elsewhere,
- Work and/or attend school full time,
- Remain in the county,
- Not be arrested for another offense,
- Pay fines, costs, restitution, and other money as ordered by the court,
- Reimburse the county for any medical care, treatment, hospitalization, or transportation the crime victim received, at least in most cases,
- Support any legal dependents to the best of their ability, and
- Not associate with persons engaged in criminal activities.
Some of these conditions are very straightforward, like reporting to a probation officer. Others are very subjective, like associating with unsavory characters. All are subject to modification. For example, the judge might limit a probation officer’s home visits to certain hours and forbid probation officers from contacting the defendant at work.
Usually, intensive probation adds offense-specific conditions like drug testing in a possession of cocaine matter. Intensive probation could also add some conditions which make being on probation feel like being in jail.
DUI and other such defendants must usually submit to random urine tests. On a related note, probation also often includes a substance abuse evaluation. These evaluators have broad powers to kick probationers out of programs for miniscule reasons.
Some “house arrest” conditions include intensive GPS monitoring, and invasive computer management. Such conditions are common for violent criminals, higher-ranking gang members, habitual offenders, and sex offenders to be supervised at this level. Additionally, some judges force these probationers to waive their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment regarding search and seizure. So, they may be subject to unannounced home or workplace visits, surveillance, and the use of electronic monitoring or satellite tracking.
Work With a Thorough Hillsborough County Attorney
A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. We routinely handle matters in Pinellas County and nearby jurisdictions.