I want to talk to you for a moment about the different types of probation here in Florida. We have, generically speaking, four types of probation.
I’ll start with the easy one. The one that everybody wants and nobody gets and that’s called administrative probation. This is glorious. You pay an administrative fee up front and you never report. Ever. You just don’t show up. You don’t need to show up. You don’t need to call. You just stay out of trouble. And if you stay out of trouble for the term of the administrative probation–you’re done. Have a nice life. It’s rare, but, its out there, its on the books–it’s legal.
The most common form of probation is what we call “standard probation”. That’s just what you’ve heard about from your friends and family (maybe). And that is, report to probation once a month. Pay them their little fee once a month, it can be $60, can be less, can be free if you’re short on funds, they do a sliding scale. Report once a month and I think the kicker for most people is the random drug testing.
Yes, you are going to be drug tested while you’re on probation. And I know what you’re thinking: I drove on a suspended license, I shoplifted a pack of Bubblelicious. Why would I be randomly drug tested? I don’t have a drug problem. Look, it is just the law. This is just what they have to do.
And, fair warning: probation’s drug tests can be a little intrusive. They have to watch you–I mean physically observe you urinate. Its not fun to have another person watch you. I mean, how often does that really happen? Well, on probation, it happens. They have to watch you because otherwise you could come in with a Whizzinator or some device that holds somebody else’s urine so that you could fake the drug test. Its a big long story. Bottom line is, its intrusive but some people don’t get tested that often, some people get tested all the time. There is no rhyme or reason to it.
Another form of probation is just a step up from standard probation, its called drug offender probation. It is as it sounds. Its, hey, you’re going to do more random urinalysis, and you’re going to do some drug treatment, and, you’re not going to meet with probation once a month, you’re going to meet with probation twice a month.
Also, the highest form of probation that I can think of is sex offender probation. It is ridiculous. It is super strict. You have a curfew. You have to write everywhere you drive. You have to tell your probation officer “I drove to McDonald’s it was 3.2 miles each way. I did not deviate from that path.” Its insane. I won’t even get into it because, literally, the list of conditions is pages and pages long.
So, please, on all of these probation’s, talk to your attorney about it. We know the ins and outs of, after 25 years of doing this, I’ve seen so many people violate that I could practically tell you how you’re going to violate. Statistically, its going to be a dirty urine. Probably, weed. But, everybody’s different. I don’t want to prejudge. Talk to your attorney. Figure out what probation is best for you and how best to handle the probation that you’re going to get in your case.