How to Terminate Your Probation Early
Probation is a great alternative to incarceration, but it can also be an easy stumbling block for people to get pulled further into the criminal system, meaning prison. How do you avoid this slippery slope? You must end this probationary term as fast as possible and limit your exposure to the “system.” Once you are on probation, your goal should be to get off as quickly as possible. What does this process entail? There is no secret formula to terminating your probation early but following are 8 basics things to know:
1. Do not miss your probation appointment.
2. Pay off the court costs (or request community service instead of paying).
3. Pay your fines.
4. Pay your cost of supervision.
5. Do not test positive for drugs.
6. Complete the other conditions of your probation, including community service, drug and alcohol evaluations and treatment, psychological evaluations and treatment, pay restitution, etc.
7. Stay out of trouble and do not get arrested for a new criminal offense.
8. Be respectful to your probation officer.
If you have followed the general guidelines above and you have fulfilled all of your court-ordered obligations, you are likely now in the right place to move forward to terminate probation early. Typically, the courts will consider a Motion to Terminate Probation when a defendant has completed half of the probation term (if sentenced to 2 years probation, then at 1 year). There are circumstances when the court will consider a Motion to Terminate Probation even earlier than the half way point and such situations are handled on a case by case basis.
The probation officer is crucial to a successful early termination of probation. Keep in mind that probation officers see hundreds of people in any given day. If you make their job easy then they will make your life easier. Treat them with respect and understand that they have a job to do and they will not play games if you violate your probation. Their evaluation of you is important and a positive recommendation from your probation officer is often very beneficial if you are before the Judge to terminate your probation or if you are before the Judge on a violation of probation.
A Motion to Terminate Probation is often granted if the terms and conditions of the probation have been completed. On occasion, the request to terminate early is denied. The denial usually occurs if the court believes the charges do not warrant early termination, the victim is objecting, the prior history of the probationer is extensive, or the probation officer is objecting to the early termination.
When you are ready to take the next step and request that the Judge terminate your probation, please call our office for a free consultation. Rooth Law Group will set your court date and file the required motions to end your probation. We want to make this process as quick and easy for you as possible. We can be reached at: (727) 797-9600 in Pinellas County, (813) 333-6517 in Hillsborough County.