Everything you need to know before accepting a plea to probation.

Often I am asked, what are the requirements for probation.  Before entering into and accepting a plea to probation, the client should understand the terms and requirements for probation.   While the court determines the specific terms and conditions of a defendant’s probation, the standard conditions of probation under Florida law are as follows:

  • Report to the probation supervisor as directed by the court
  • Allow the probation officer to visit the probationer’s home, place of employment, or other places
  • Remain gainfully employed in a suitable job
  • Stay within a specific area, such as within county or state limits
  • Do not break any new laws
  • Make restitution to any parties who were harmed by the crime
  • Financially support one’s dependents
  • Do not associate with any people who are engaged in criminal activities
  • Willingly submit to random drug and/or alcohol testing
  • Do not possess, own, or carry any firearms
  • Do not use any controlled substances unless they were lawfully prescribed by a doctor

For additional information, the terms and conditions of probation are found under Section 948.03 of the Florida Statutes.

While there are different levels of probation, such as administrative (non-reporting), reporting, sex offender, drug offender, and Community Control (the strictest type of probation also known as “house arrest”), they all require absolute compliance with the various terms and conditions. The state has zero tolerance for violators, who are penalized for their noncompliance.

As a general rule, criminal defendants find probation to be a favorable alternative to being behind bars for reasons we can understand.   Still, probationers must not take probation for granted; while on probation, they must adhere to strict terms and conditions.

If the terms and conditions of probation are violated, there are severe consequences.    If a probationer violates one of their terms of probation, it can lead to an arrest warrant being issued. Generally, a probation officer (PO) learns that a probationer violated one of the terms of their probation, then the PO can either make a “warrantless arrest,” or they can prepare an affidavit and present it to the judge.

From there, the judge examines the affidavit and if they agree with the PO, the judge will issue an arrest warrant. Once issued, the defendant will likely be arrested and held in custody without bond until the pending violations are resolved.

If you violated your probation and suspect an arrest is imminent, contact our office to speak with Criminal Defense Attorney Neil Kerch immediately. Unless you can prove to your Probation Officer without a doubt that you were compliant, you are not likely to dissuade your Probation Officer from finding you in violation and imposing harsh consequences.

If you are accused of violating your probation, your best option is to contact Criminal Defense Attorney Neil C. Kerch so I can defend the matter on your behalf.


This post is only general information and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. You should only use this post to familiarize yourself with the criminal justice process in Florida. Importantly, each case is unique and will not necessarily be handled in the same manner as described in this post. Please contact Neil C. Kerch for a free initial case consultation if you have specific questions regarding your involvement with the criminal justice system.

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