Is it possible to terminate probation early in the Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Milton & Navarre areas?
So you want to terminate your probation early?
In many cases getting a probation sentence can be a great resolution to a case – it sure beats doing jail time. But that doesn’t mean that probation is easy and fun and that people don’t mind having to report every month. Probation is a difficult thing to complete, no matter who you are. However, if you can complete all of your conditions and stay out of trouble, you may be able to terminate your probation early.
Florida Statute 948.05 gives a trial judge the legal ability to terminate your probation at anytime. While the judges have the right to terminate probation early, do not expect them to do it just because you ask them to. Based upon my experience, here in the First Circuit of Florida, a judge will not usually consider a motion to terminate probation early until at least half of the probation has been completed. In addition to making it through at least half the time you are on probation, the judge will want you to have completed all the conditions of your probation, including paying off all of your fines and court costs. This is consistent with a new statute enacted in 2020 related to early termination of probation. The new law reads that a judge must terminate someone’s probation if they complete half of their term and satisfy all their conditions.
Applying for early termination of probation is always a good idea. If the judge grants it, then you are free from the system. You can file the motion to terminate probation on your own, known as pro se. In some places, the probation officer may actually file it for you. However, there can be benefits to hiring an attorney to file your motion. Lawyers typically charge a lower fee to file these motions. They may be able to get you a hearing quicker than you could on your own, which is a good thing. Lawyers who regularly appear before a judge may have a better chance at presenting your case in a way the judge will appreciate. At the end of the day, hiring an attorney to file a motion to terminate probation early will usually be far cheaper than completing the remainder of your sentence.
Give my office a call to discuss whether it makes sense to try to terminate your probation early.