Probation is community supervision imposed by the court as an alternative to incarceration. Probation violations are serious offenses that result in harsher punishment. Unfortunately, this kind of violation is common in the criminal justice system, as many times it will be used as leverage when a person commits another crime (for more information, check out our blog post on Understanding Probation: What It Is and How it Works).
Here are some tips on surviving probation in Florida:
- Be on your best behavior. It’s important to comply with the terms and conditions of your probation at all times, or you could risk going to jail.
- Learn how to deal with not being in control. While it may not feel like it, probation is actually a desirable alternative to jail time. Even though you’re in the comfort of your home instead of behind bars, you still lack the freedom to do as you please. Get used to following the rules and hearing the word “no” a lot.
- Excuses will not be tolerated. If you have a curfew, plan to get home early so you don’t break it. If you have community service hours, be sure to do them. If you want to make it through probation, you cannot fall back on excuses.
- Respect your parole officer (PO). You can face serious consequences if your PO has reason to believe that you’ve violated your probation. If you are having issues with your PO for whatever reason, it is best to consult your lawyer instead of trying to handle it on your own.
- Use common sense. Try and use your best judgment by avoiding certain situations where you may be in danger or violate your parole. If you feel as though hanging around certain people or areas may put you at risk, just don’t go. If you’re not sure whether or not something is a bad idea, just don’t do it.