When you plead guilty to a crime or the court finds you guilty, the judge may sentence you to probation rather than jail time. As long as you abstain from any future crimes, you will not face any charges later. The attorney you work with will point out that probation lets you continue living your life and will help you keep your job because you do not need to serve any time in jail. You should consider some of the restrictions that you face until your probation is over before agreeing though.
As as soon as the court agrees to probation, you will find yourself assigned a probation officer. This officer is responsible for making sure that you stay out of trouble. A PO may contact your employer to make sure that you work where you say you work and stop by your home for regular meetings to ensure you live at the address listed on your court documents. You will also need to attend regular meetings with your PO is his or her office. The PO may require that you meet once a week or once every few weeks.
While on felony probation Tampa residents must also make restitution. You are generally responsible for paying the fine levied on you by the court, but you can make smaller payments each week and larger payments when you can. If the crime involved another person who was a victim of your crime, the court may order you to make restitution and pay that individual too. You may also be responsible for paying court costs. If you do not make your payments, the court can hold you in contempt, revoke your probation and send you to jail.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Some people on probation in Florida must also go through drug and/or alcohol treatment. This is a common requirement among those convicted of a drug charge in combination with another charge and those who were on illegal substances at the time of the arrest. The court may require that you submit to regular drug and alcohol use tests too. Failing one of these tests can lead to the court sending you back to jail and revoking your probation. Talking with your lawyer before speaking to the judge can help you learn more about the terms of your probation and any restrictions you’ll face in the future.