948.01 When court may place defendant on probation or into community control.—
(1) Any state court having original jurisdiction of criminal actions may at a time to be determined by the court, with or without an adjudication of the guilt of the defendant, hear and determine the question of the probation of a defendant in a criminal case, except for an offense punishable by death, who has been found guilty by the verdict of a jury, has entered a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere, or has been found guilty by the court trying the case without a jury.
(a) If the court places the defendant on probation or into community control for a felony, the department shall provide immediate supervision by an officer employed in compliance with the minimum qualifications for officers as provided in s. 943.13. A private entity may not provide probationary or supervision services to felony or misdemeanor offenders sentenced or placed on probation or other supervision by the circuit court.
(b) The department, in consultation with the Office of the State Courts Administrator, shall develop and disseminate to the courts uniform order of supervision forms by July 1 of each year or as necessary. The courts shall use the uniform order of supervision forms provided by the department for all persons placed on community supervision.
(2) If it appears to the court upon a hearing of the matter that the defendant is not likely again to engage in a criminal course of conduct and that the ends of justice and the welfare of society do not require that the defendant presently suffer the penalty imposed by law, the court, in its discretion, may either adjudge the defendant to be guilty or stay and withhold the adjudication of guilt. In either case, the court shall stay and withhold the imposition of sentence upon the defendant and shall place a felony defendant upon probation. If the defendant is found guilty of a nonfelony offense as the result of a trial or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, the court may place the defendant on probation. In addition to court costs and fees and notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the court may impose a fine authorized by law if the offender is a nonfelony offender who is not placed on probation. However, a defendant who is placed on probation for a misdemeanor may not be placed under the supervision of the department unless the circuit court was the court of original jurisdiction.
(3) If, after considering the provisions of subsection (2) and the offender’s prior record or the seriousness of the offense, it appears to the court in the case of a felony disposition that probation is an unsuitable dispositional alternative to imprisonment, the court may place the offender in a community control program as provided in s. 948.10. Or, in a case of prior disposition of a felony commitment, upon motion of the offender or the department or upon its own motion, the court may, within the period of its retained jurisdiction following commitment, suspend the further execution of the disposition and place the offender in a community control program upon such terms as the court may require. The court may consult with a local offender advisory council pursuant to s. 948.90 with respect to the placement of an offender into community control. Not later than 3 working days before the hearing on the motion, the department shall forward to the court all relevant material on the offender’s progress while in custody. If this sentencing alternative to incarceration is utilized, the court shall:
(a) Determine what community-based sanctions will be imposed in the community control plan. Community-based sanctions may include, but are not limited to, rehabilitative restitution in money or in kind, curfew, revocation or suspension of the driver’s license, community service, deprivation of nonessential activities or privileges, or other appropriate restraints on the offender’s liberty.
(b) After appropriate sanctions for the offense are determined, develop, approve, and order a plan of community control which contains rules, requirements, conditions, and programs that are designed to encourage noncriminal functional behavior and promote the rehabilitation of the offender and the protection of the community. If the offense was a controlled substance violation, the conditions shall include a requirement that the offender submit to random substance abuse testing intermittently throughout the term of supervision, upon the direction of the correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(3).
(4) The sanctions imposed by order of the court shall be commensurate with the seriousness of the offense. When community control or a program of public service is ordered by the court, the duration of community control supervision or public service may not be longer than the sentence that could have been imposed if the offender had been committed for the offense or a period not to exceed 2 years, whichever is less. When restitution or public service is ordered by the court, the amount of restitution or public service may not be greater than an amount which the offender could reasonably be expected to pay or perform.
(5) The imposition of sentence may not be suspended and the defendant thereupon placed on probation or into community control unless the defendant is placed under the custody of the department or another public or private entity. A private entity may not provide probationary or supervision services to felony or misdemeanor offenders sentenced or placed on probation or other supervision by the circuit court.
(6) When the court, under any of the foregoing subsections, places a defendant on probation or into community control, it may specify that the defendant serve all or part of the probationary or community control period in a community residential or nonresidential facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Children and Family Services or any public or private entity providing such services, and it shall require the payment prescribed in s. 948.09.
(7)(a) Notwithstanding s. 921.0024 and effective for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2009, the sentencing court may place the defendant into a postadjudicatory treatment-based drug court program if the defendant’s Criminal Punishment Code scoresheet total sentence points under s. 921.0024 are 60 points or fewer, the offense is a nonviolent felony, the defendant is amenable to substance abuse treatment, and the defendant otherwise qualifies under s. 397.334(3). The satisfactory completion of the program shall be a condition of the defendant’s probation or community control. As used in this subsection, the term “nonviolent felony” means a third degree felony violation under chapter 810 or any other felony offense that is not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08.
(b) The defendant must be fully advised of the purpose of the program, and the defendant must agree to enter the program. The original sentencing court shall relinquish jurisdiction of the defendant’s case to the postadjudicatory drug court program until the defendant is no longer active in the program, the case is returned to the sentencing court due to the defendant’s termination from the program for failure to comply with the terms thereof, or the defendant’s sentence is completed.
948.011 When court may impose fine and place on probation or into community control as an alternative to imprisonment.—When the law authorizes the placing of a defendant on probation, and when the defendant’s offense is punishable by both fine and imprisonment, the trial court may, in its discretion, impose a fine upon him or her and place him or her on probation or into community control as an alternative to imprisonment.
Curtis Murtha will put his experience in probation defense to work for you. He provides defense services against charges of probation violation for the Pinellas, Hillsborough, Tampa, and Saint Petersburg areas.