If you have been placed on federal probation, a judge may modify or terminate a term of probation and discharge a defendant at any time after the expiration of one year of probation.
What is Modification of Probation?
When a person is sentenced to probation the judge orders some general rules and some specific rules. Some general rules include not getting arrested and convicted of another offense while on probation. Some specific rules include no contact with a victim, restitution, and a limitation on travel. A judge may order someone or probation to attend drug or alcohol treatment. A judge can modify or change most of the rules. For example, a judge can change travel restrictions and allow someone on probation to travel outside of the original boundaries. A judge can modify travel restrictions and allow a person on probation to travel for business purposes, or family and recreation-related reasons.
What Is Early Termination of Probation?
Probation is ordered for a specific number of months or years. A judge can sentence a defendant to probation for the maximum amount of years the defendant could have been sentenced to prison for the offense. Because probation is an alternative to prison, judges often sentence defendants to long periods of probation. A judge can modify or terminate a term of probation previously ordered and discharge the defendant at any time after the expiration of one year of probation if the judge is satisfied that the reduction is warranted by the conduct of the defendant. For example, a judge can reduce the number of years a defendant must be on probation or grant early termination of probation in cases where the defendant demonstrates changed circumstances, such exceptionally good behavior.
What Are Some Good Reasons for Modification or Termination of Probation?
The criteria for modification or early termination include:
- law‑abiding behavior;
- compliance with the conditions of supervision, and
- a responsible, productive lifestyle.
What is Law‑Abiding Behavior?
A defendant must comply with all rules, regulations, and laws in order to be eligible for modification or early termination. For example, a defendant should not get caught with a bag of weed or an open container of beer in the car. A defendant should not get arrested or convicted of anything while on probation. A defendant should obey all traffic laws and not drive while intoxicated. A defendant may attend religious services and do volunteer work. Helping others is a sign of changed circumstances and exceptionally good behavior. A law‑abiding defendant is more likely to be granted a modification or early termination than someone who is not.
What is Compliance with Conditions of Supervision?
A defendant must comply with all conditions of probation. For example, a defendant must complete drug treatment or other programs and report on time. A defendant must keep a full‑time job, pay taxes, and pay any special assessments and fines, and comply with forfeiture orders. A defendant should not test positive for drugs while under supervision. A defendant who knows the rules and follows them will have a better chance of modification or early termination.
What is A Responsible, Productive Lifestyle?
Modification or early termination is justified when a defendant is a responsible, productive member of society. For example, keeping a good job, paying taxes, getting married, having children, purchasing a home and living a good clean lifestyle are reasons for modification or early termination. Good conduct and having a good relationship with your probation officer is very productive.
After a judge receives a request for modification or termination, he will review the request and make a decision based on the facts and circumstances of your case. Law‑abiding behavior, compliance with the terms of supervision and a responsible, productive lifestyle will all work in your favor.
Why Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you have been placed on federal probation and would like to get your probation modified or terminated early it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Why Fernandez & Hernandez?
Fernandez & Hernandez can assist and guide you through the process. Modification and early termination of probation can be complex. Fernandez & Hernandez may be able to help you find a solution.
If you need legal assistance getting a modification or termination, call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813 229-5353.