Community Control in Florida: Know the Rules
November 2, 2021
People who have been convicted of a crime may be able to persuade a judge to let them serve their sentences in their homes under certain conditions. These arrangements are called probation agreements. Probation is a court-ordered period that cannot exceed the maximum punishment for the offense committed. Read on to learn about the criminal law behind probation and community control in Florida.
When a defendant is placed on probation, they must adhere to all of the court’s restrictions, and if they break any of them, their probation may be revoked, and the individual may face incarceration. It is a method for people on probation to sleep in their own bed and live their own lives while carrying out their term.
However, not everyone on probation has the same experience. Under the supervision of the Florida Department of Corrections, there are three levels of probation:
- Probation without supervision
- Probation under supervision
- Community Control
Unsupervised probation is akin to the legal form of the honor system, and it is incredibly rare. Supervised probation is significantly more common. Community control is the most serious type of probation. In the state of Florida, community control and probation are two quite different types of penalties. However, they can be used in conjunction.
In most cases, probationers are obliged to visit their supervising officer at a local field office once or twice a month. The probationer may be visited at home or at work by their supervising officer, depending on the circumstances. Offenders on Community Control probation, on the other hand, are constantly monitored. Offenders must also offer a weekly timetable for supervisory officers.
What Is Community Control in Florida?
Community control in Florida is a non-incarceration option given solely to convicts. Community Control allows an offender to live at home while traveling to a pre-determined list of destinations, which typically includes work, school, treatment, and community service. Anything not on the list of allowed venues requires the defendant’s Community Control officer’s approval.
When an offender is placed on community control, he or she will be monitored by administrative officers who have fewer cases to deal with, especially on weekends and holidays. A defendant is expected to be at home whenever they are not at one of the allowed sites. Community control officers will visit the offender’s residence at random intervals to ensure that they are at home. It is a violation if the offender is not at home when they are supposed to be.
A community control sentence in Florida is limited to a maximum of two years. Meaning, an offender may be placed on community control for up to two years, but probation – the length of which varies depending on the sort of offense – may be imposed after that.
Community Control Restrictions
If you are under community control supervision, sometimes known as “house arrest,” you will not be able to perform many activities. Even the activities you are allowed to do regularly are restricted. Consider the following scenarios to understand community control prohibitions:
- You may not go food shopping unless it is at your designated time, even if you are out of something.
- You must obtain permission in advance to visit the doctor’s office or undergo medical tests.
- If you go to a salon for a haircut, you must first identify the location and provide a receipt proving your visit.
- You must submit a church bulletin indicating when services were held.
- You will not be allowed to access amenities such as a laundry room, mailroom, pool, or gym if you reside in a condo, trailer park, or apartment with them.
The requirements of community control are exceedingly stringent. According to some lawyers, only around one out of every ten people completes it without committing a violation. Each year, Florida oversees approximately 140,000 offenders who are under community control, which means that up to 126,000 of them commit a violation.
Community Control Expenses
Receiving community control comes with some additional costs. People in community control are frequently liable for the following expenses:
- Supervision cost paid to the sate
- Restitution to victims
- Fines and court expenses
- A variety of treatments
What Happens If You Violate Community Control?
Due to the severely restricted nature of community control, it is considerably easier to break it than it is to breach probation. Even anything as basic as walking down the street late at night can compromise your community’s control. Infractions of community control are equivalent to probation violations. Your probation or community control officer will file an affidavit of violation. The judge will issue a warrant. You will be taken into custody and likely kept without bond while your violation is handled.
If an offender violates the terms of community control, the court may withdraw their agreement and incarcerate them for the remainder of their sentence, just as it would with probation. Offenders may be returned to community control in some cases, although they will be electronically watched.
In such circumstances, private vendors monitor them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If an offender breaches their curfew, the private vendor will promptly alert the relevant staff, and cops will conduct an investigation.
Contact The Legal Eagles at Mario Gunde Peters & Kelley
Community control rules are easy to break, even by accident. Therefore, having a probation violation attorney on your side to protect you from claimed violations is essential. If you have been charged with violating community control, Mario Gunde Peters & Kelley can represent you.
On the other hand, if you have been on community control for a while and have not broken any rules, you might wish to seek the court to change your community control to a probationary period instead. A move to modify probation can be granted after an offender has served half of their sentence.
Although community control is difficult, it is better than prison, so our attorneys will do everything necessary to guarantee that you are allowed to serve the remainder of your sentence at home. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your defense strategy and legal alternatives if you are facing community control.