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Understanding Probation and Parole Laws in Orlando

March 22, 2024
By The Wiseman Law Firm

After being accused of a crime, many individuals may feel overwhelmed and confused about potential sentences, including the difference between probation and parole. However, these legal terms are distinct and impact those convicted differently. The most significant difference between probation and parole is that probation is an alternative to jail or prison time, while parole occurs after part of the sentence is served. 

If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and the laws surrounding your case. Attorney Simon Wiseman has over 23 years of legal experience and a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes for his clients in Orlando and the surrounding areas. He is passionate about trial work and is ready to fight aggressively for your rights and freedoms.

Florida’s Probation Laws

In Florida, probation is a form of court-ordered supervision that does not require the convicted individual to remain in jail, prison, or, in many cases, house arrest. Florida Statutes § 948.03 states specific conditions must be met while serving probation. Typically, these conditions include the following:

  • Mandatory reporting to a probation officer 
  • Travel restrictions 
  • Random drug testing
  • Community service
  • Continued gainful employment 
  • Unannounced random home visits
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Reparation or payments to any affected parties

You may be granted probation for less severe crimes, especially if the crime in question is your first offense. While on probation, you may have limits on where you can go and a curfew as terms of your probation. You may also violate the terms of your probation if you commit another criminal offense while on probation. A skilled attorney can help you understand the terms of your probation and–depending on the circumstances surrounding your case– may be able to reduce your sentence so you can avoid imprisonment. 

Florida’s Parole Laws

Parole is designed to help prisoners return to society. Under Florida Statutes § 947.16, it is a conditional form of release that allows the convicted individual to serve the rest of their sentence in their community. Parole is not granted automatically. While many prisoners may apply for parole at a certain point in their sentences, parole is never guaranteed. Parole applications are decided by a parole board. This board often considers factors such as the severity of the crime and how much of the sentence has already been served. Like probation, those on parole must meet certain conditions, including the following:

  • Mandatory reporting to a parole officer
  • Maintaining gainful employment and a residential address
  • Attending mandatory drug or alcohol counseling
  • Submitting to electronic monitoring
  • Refraining from committing any further offenses
  • Abstaining from drugs or alcohol
  • Remaining within state lines
  • Avoiding interactions with other offenders
  • Not possessing a gun or other lethal weapon

This is not an exhaustive list, and parole boards typically have wide discretion when determining conditions. If you are seeking parole for yourself or someone you love, the legal process may be challenging to navigate alone. A skilled attorney can evaluate your case and fight tirelessly on your behalf. 

Speak With a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney at The Wiseman Law Firm

Navigating the complexities of parole and probation can be challenging for the criminally accused. Fortunately, you do not have to fight for your rights alone. At The Wiseman Law Firm, our team understands the ins and outs of Florida law and is ready to apply our wealth of knowledge and skills to your case. We will consider the nuances of your situation and develop a defense that aligns with your needs and goals.

To learn more about how attorney Simon Wiseman can help you, schedule a free consultation today by calling (407) 420-4647 or completing our contact form.

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