Many offenders are promised early termination of probation at their sentencing hearing only to find out later on that no one will explain how to terminate probation.
Get Off Probation Early in Florida
Sometimes the possibility of early termination of probation is written into the Order of Probation, but that often still does not help.
In general, offenders who have complied with all the terms and
conditions of their probation agreement, have not re-offended, and paid
all of their fines and costs of supervision may petition the court to
have their probation terminated.
Offenders who have complied with all of the terms and conditions can still petition the court for early termination of probation before the stated time period.
This is true whether or not the possibility of early termination of probation is stated in their Order of Probation.
The Probation Officer
The offender’s probation officer has the power to prevent release from probation.
We suggest that probationers consistently maintain a business like demeanor with the probation officer.
Once all fines have been paid, community service is complete, and an offender is about halfway through his probation term without re-offending, he should ask his probation officer whether he has any objection to terminate probation early.
The probation officer will likely agree to early termination of
probation, but also tell the offender that it is the judge’s decision
and not his own.
The next step is for the probationer to prepare a petition to terminate probation to file with the clerk of the court requesting early termination of probation.
This petition is filed under the same case number as was used for sentencing; and since it is the same case, there are no filing fees.
The petition should be formatted in the same way as most Florida court filings, with the circuit number and county name in the heading at the top.
The case number under it, and over to the right; and “The State of Florida” vs. probationer’s name, Defendant stacked on the left.
Next, the title -- Petition to Terminate Probation -- bold, centered, and underlined.
The first line should read something like this, Comes now, Defendant, filing pro se, respectfully requesting this court to terminate probation for the following reasons.
After that are numbered reasons why the offender believes his probation should end.
The reasons may include: all fines and fees have been paid; the offender has not re-offended; and any other reasons that might persuade the judge to end the probation.
If the offender was promised early termination of probation after a period of time, but it was left off of the court order, he should state that fact.
The probationer can also request that the court waive unpaid costs of ongoing supervision.
In other words, providing the probationer
is current on his supervision fees, and only incurs those as he is
supervised, he can save those fees if he is released from probation.
At the end of the petition to terminate probation, after the signature line, there must be a certification that a copy of this petition has been sent to the probation officer.
This gives the probation officer notice, and if he disagrees with early termination, the opportunity to say so.
Notifying the probation officer is similar to notifying the other party in a civil suit; and the petition might not be considered valid without that certification of notice.
Depending on the judge, local court rules, and the judicial circuit, there may or not be a hearing regarding the petition to terminate probation.
Some judges may prepare an order, sign it, and send it through the mail.
Others might schedule a hearing before releasing a probationer from his obligations.
But, rest assured, probation will not be
terminated early, unless you ask for it.
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