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Al's Legal Corner - Did You Know?

Question: What is Community Control?

Answer: Community Control and Probation are two very different types of sentences in the State of Florida. They can be combined, such as a period of Community Control followed by Probation, but they certainly are not the same. In order to understand their differences, however, we must first discuss their similarities.

Both are punishments imposed by the Court as a result of a plea agreement or a finding of guilt at trial. Terms of Community Control and/or Probation can be imposed on their own, or following a length of time in jail or prison. Community Control, however, is a far more restrictive form of supervision, one where the individual sentenced is prohibited from leaving his or her residence. Think of Community Control as a form of house arrest. It is only available in Felony sentences, and can only be imposed for up to two years, though regular Probation often will follow.

Oftentimes you are required to wear a GPS monitor on your ankle that allows the Florida Department of Corrections to track your every move. If the Judge allows it, you may be permitted to leave your residence to go to work, school, or a medical visit. Your Community Control Officer will set a schedule that may allow you to leave your house during certain hours to run errands. Community Control Officers will randomly stop by the offender's home to see if they are where they are supposed to be. If the offender is not home when they are supposed to be home, it is a violation.

Community Control is a punishment designated for more serious offenses or for repeat offenders. It is often imposed when Probation is modified due to a Probation violation. It can only be imposed for a period of two years, though regular Probation can and often will follow the Community Control period. In other words, Community Control is usually one's last chance before deeming a prison sentence. Thus, a violation is very serious.

If you, or someone you know, is facing a violation of Community Control, call my office immediately. We are only digits away, 24/7!