If you have been placed on federal probation or supervised release, you may be eligible for modification or early termination! It is possible for a federal judge to change or end your probation or supervised release after only one year. Early termination of probation or supervised release is considered reasonable by the law when a defendant shows “changed circumstances”, such a exceptionally good behavior. For a judge to do this though, it would need to be “in the interest of justice”. So what does all of that mean?
For a change or end to your probation or supervised released to be possible, you must show these things:
- law-abiding behavior;
- compliance with the conditions of supervision, and
- a responsible, productive lifestyle.
You must follow all of the rules, regulations and laws in order to qualify for early termination. You cannot be found breaking the law! For example, you should not get caught with a bag of weed or an open container of beer in the car. In fact, you CANNOT get arrested or convicted of anything at all while on probation or supervised release. You must follow all laws, even traffic laws and you definitely cannot drive while intoxicated. It helps if you attend religious services and do volunteer work because 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. Simply put, don’t break the law!
Compliance with Conditions of Supervision
You must meet all conditions of probation or supervised release. For example, you must complete drug treatment (if ordered) or other programs and report on time to your PO. It is important that you keep a full-time job and pay any special assessments and fines (including forfeiture orders). You must NOT test positive for drugs while under supervision. Simply put, you must know the rules and follows them!
Responsible, Productive Lifestyle
A change or end to your probation or supervised release is most likely when you are a “responsible, productive member of society”. What that means is that you should do things like keeping a good job, paying taxes, getting married, having children, purchasing a home and living a good clean lifestyle for example. Good behavior and having a good relationship with your probation officer is very important. Simply put, be a good citizen!
After a judge receives a request for modification or termination, he or she will review the request and make a decision based on your case. Obeying the law, following the rules of your supervision and living a responsible, productive lifestyle are your best bet.
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.