Different Types of Probation in Florida: Standard Probation Vs. Intensive Probation

People often hear the term “probation” associated with most criminal cases. It’s well known that probation is an alternative to jail or prison. But a probation period is also a part of most sentences following a person’s release from prison or jail. 


At Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law, we believe every person facing criminal prosecution should understand the law and how it affects their case. In this blog post, we explain the kinds of probation that apply in Florida, including the many different levels of supervision each type of probation involves. If you have a question about probation, either for yourself or for a loved one, contact us in Tampa at 813-280-1244 for answers.  



Standard Probation  


The most common type of probation provided for under Florida law (F.S. § 948.03) imposes conditions on the probationer that are so “standard” that they do not need to be recited by the judge at the time of sentencing. These conditions must be complied with in order to prevent the probationer’s probation officer (P.O.) from filing a notice of violation.  


The standard terms of probation include the following conditions: 


  • Report to the probation supervisor as directed by the court, 
  • Permit the P.O. to visit the probationer’s home, place of employment or other places where the probationer spends time, 
  • Maintain “suitable” gainful employment, 
  • Remain within a specific area, such as within county or state limits, unless permitted to leave by their P.O., 
  • Do not break any laws while on probation, 
  • Pay restitution to any parties whose property or person was harmed by the crime, as determined by the court. 
  • Provide financial support to the probationer’s dependents, 
  • Do not associate with anyone who is engaged in criminal activities or is known to be a convicted felon, 
  • Do not possess or use any controlled substances unless lawfully prescribed by an authorized medical practitioner, 
  • Submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing, 
  • Do not possess, own, or carry any firearms. 


Another standard condition of probation applies to those people who received medical or hospital treatment during the time they were incarcerated.  


The court may order the repayment to the municipality or other political subdivision of the cost of such medical treatment and transportation if it determines that the probationer can pay and that the institution in which the probationer was incarcerated did not play a substantial role in the need for such treatment. 


Drug Offense Probation 


A higher level of supervision is imposed on defendants who are convicted or enter a nolo plea with adjudication withheld by the court. Defendants who are involved in drug-related crimes are usually people with some substance use issue or dependency.  


To reduce the likelihood of the defendant reoffending to feed a drug dependency, probation will always require that the probationer submit to random drug tests and attend drug counseling and/or treatment as required following an assessment by qualified authorities. 


Substance use disorder (SUD) is a difficult condition for anyone to overcome. Relapse is understood to be a common part of recovery. However, repeated relapses or missed counseling sessions, or other persistent failures to comply with the protocol will result in a violation of probation. The probation supervisor assigned to the individual’s case will determine if a violation should be filed. 


Sexual Offender Probation 


Probationers who were convicted of sex offenses in Florida are subject to some of the most restrictive and long-lasting probationary conditions. These long periods of probation are generally served after the defendant is released from incarceration. Because of the seriousness of the offense, and the threat of the probationer reoffending, very tight limits and close monitoring of their movements and activities are imposed. 


The court determines the precise conditions imposed on any individual sex offender based on the facts and circumstances of each case. However, possible probation conditions include the following for Florida sex offenders: 


  • The probationer cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare center, park, playground, or other place where children regularly gather, 
  • Mandatory enrollment in a sex offender treatment program, 
  • No contact of any kind with the victim, 
  • No contact with a child under the age of 18 unless approved by the court,  
  • No working or volunteering with children at any school, daycare center, pet store, library, zoo, or other place where children regularly congregate, 
  • No viewing, owning, or possessing any obscene, pornographic, or sexually stimulating visual or auditory material, 
  • No access to the internet or other computer service until a sex offender treatment program completes a risk assessment and approves and implements a safety plan for the offender, 
  • DNA sample must be provided to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be registered with the DNA data bank, 
  • Pay restitution to the victim for all necessary medical and related professional services relating to physical, psychiatric, and psychological care, 
  • Submit to polygraph examinations, 
  • Driving log and travel restrictions, 
  • No post office box without prior approval, 
  • Submit for HIV testing, 
  • Submit to mandatory electronic monitoring, 
  • Pay court cost, fines, and other expenses, 
  • Submit to psychological or mental health assessment, 
  • Perform community service, 
  • Plus, any other reasonably related restriction available for other probationers. 


Administrative or Unsupervised Probation (Least Restrictive Probation) 


The least restrictive type of probation that may be imposed in Florida is called administrative probation. People who are placed on administrative probation by the court do not need to report to a probation supervisor. Such unsupervised probation is generally imposed only when the defendant is not required to perform any specific tasks as a condition of their probation that will need to be monitored by an official in the Department of Corrections.  


However, someone serving a period of unsupervised probation can still be violated if they are arrested or charged with a new criminal offense. A basic duty of all probationers is to keep the peace and be of good behavior. An arrest for a new crime is a basis to suggest that the probationer has not complied.  


Read More > Penalties for Violating Probation in Florida  


Tampa Criminal Defense  


Navigating the complexities of the probation system can be a daunting task, especially when facing criminal charges. However, with the help of an experienced criminal defense law firm like ours in Tampa, you can increase your chances of success and minimize your risks.  


Our knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of probation-related criminal defense and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and represent your best interests.  


Don’t wait until it’s too late; contact us today at 813-280-1244 for a consultation and take the first step toward securing your future. 

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