If you are on probation, community control or house arrest, consider hiring an attorney to file a petition to terminate probation, community control or house arrest early. If you are successful, you can avoid any possibility of a future violation of probation allegation.
Determining if you are eligible for early termination of probation
You may be eligible for early termination of your probation if you have served at least fifty percent of the probationary term and you have completed all special conditions of your probation. You can also apply for early termination of any term of community control or house arrest if you have served at least fifty percent of your sentence. Being on probation is like having one foot in jail. Any violation of probation, including failing to pay fines or costs, leaving the county, violating curfew, testing positive for a controlled substance, or any new law violation can cause your probation officer to issue a affidavit of violation which usually results in a "no bond" warrant for your arrest. Contact a criminal defense attorney about applying for early termination of probation, community control or house arrest.
HIre an Attorney to File the Petition to Terminate Probation and Litigate the Motion
The second step your attorney will take is filing a petition for early termination and scheduling a court hearing. If you have served at least fifty percent of your probationary term, you are eligible to apply for early termination of probation even if the court stated at your sentencing that "no early termination of probation will be considered by the court." In fact, under Florida Statute Section 948.05 the court is required to consider your petition and grant it when "justice requires." Arriaga v. State, 666 So.2d 949 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996).
Prepare for the Hearing to Terminate Probation
Help your attorney prepare for the hearing by providing the attorney with any information that would be helpful in showing the court the reasons why the petition should be granted. For example, if you have remained gainfully employed, or graduated from college, or accomplished anything else positive during the probationary part of the sentence provide that information to your attorney. You should also discuss with your attorney basic facts involved in the underlying case and any aggravated factors that may be raised by the prosecution as reasons not to grant the motion. At the actual hearing on the motion your attorney will outline for the court all of the reasons why the petition should be granted. In many jurisdictions in Florida, the court will routinely grant the motions in certain cases when the defendant is in full compliance and has had no prior violations of probation.
If the Motion is Granted, Discuss With Your Attorney Filing a Petition to Seal Your Criminal Record
Once the motion to terminate probation is granted, you may be eligible to apply to seal your criminal record if you have never been adjudicated guilty of any criminal offense, and if the court withheld adjudication for this offense, and if your offense is not on a list of disqualifying offenses. You are not eligible to apply to seal a criminal record until after your probation has been terminated.