What You Need to Know About Terminating Your Probation

About once a week in Central Florida, I get a call from a person who always wants to know one thing. When can I get off of my probation? Most of the time the conditions of probation are interfering with their work or they have been assigned a new probation officer with who they just don’t get along. Whatever is their reasoning, they just want off of probation. This, of course, can happen, but it usually is not automatic or certain.

FILING A MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION

To request early release from probation, you need to file a Motion for Early Termination of Probation in the court where you were convicted. Before you can file, you need to make sure you have completed every condition of your probation. That means every condition. All fines and court costs must be paid in full. All community service hours must be finished. All classes and all recommended counseling or treatment must be completed. All restitution must be paid in full. Each and every condition that the Judge imposed on you must be done. If you haven’t finished everything, you are just wasting your time asking, and it probably won’t be granted.

By Granting a Motion for Early Termination, a Judge is rewarding you for your hard work and good behavior. The Court is acknowledging that you have done everything you have been asked to do. This is not guaranteed or routine. The Court has been given full authority to use their discretion in terminating your probation. It is not appealable, and no one can force a Judge to do it. In the case of Ziegler v. State, 380 So.2d 564 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980), it was stated, “the authority conferred upon the court by Section 948.05 is entirely a matter of grace.”

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