Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ending Probation // Modifying Probation

As an experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in problems of probation, I have been called upon hundreds of times to either terminate, convert or modify conditions of probation for my clients in Florida, New York and throughout the country.

Often these clients had no idea of their options, or when they could exercise them. Often they suffered needlessly for years while they and their families were hassled, humiliated and abused by the system or by offensive and controlling probation officers. They were subject to the constant threat, real or imagined, of unwelcome home or work visits, drug tests and possible violations of probation, and many had to endure much time in jail while those violations were worked out by me or resolved in Court through my representation.

Often these violations and the stress of their imposition could have been avoided. Probation by its nature is difficult to succeed at, and Community Control (house arrest) is almost impossible to succeed at and live a normal and productive life. We have a service, called, directed by former probation officers, that offers group seminars for those recently placed on probation and one-on-one orientations for those needing personalized attention during their supervision, in order to orient them to the demands and pitfalls of the system. Hopefully, this service will help avoid problems, including violations during supervision, make the process as smooth and painless as possible, and thereby set-up the scenario where my law office, (, and my associated attorneys throughout Florida, can terminate their probation or community control early. In the meantime, we also help clients modify their probation or community control conditions to make their life more bearable and productive.

In Florida and many other states, terminating probation or converting community control to regular probation can occur 'at any time', and contrary to most common thinking, does not have to occur only until you are half-way through your sentence period. Also, contrary to common thinking, early termination can be granted even when you have more than one violation of probation in your supervision history. Even if early termination is not yet an option, there are alternatives available to make probation easier and less problematic until termination does become available. These include expansion of travel restrictions, so out-of-town work can be accomplished, extention of curfew so work hours can be made more flexible, and changes of residency restrictions, so that family and work-life can be better accommodated. Other modifications are available depending on a clients partcular situation and needs.

Often, the process of ending probation is and/or changing restrictive conditions is just a click or a phone call away. The information is available just for the asking, at least at my office.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Probation Problems

I am a criminal defense attorney, with 25 years of litigation experience in both NY and Florida.

In the last several years, my practice has become more focused on dealing with the problems of people on probation supervision, parole or community control (also known as 'house arrest' in Florida). My clients are on probation stemming from cases throughout the US. I sympathize with these people and the problems they and their families face on a day-to-day basis.

I wanted to open a blogsite that deals with these issues, and gives people a place to share, as well as to vent, about their situations, and hopefully offer solutions, both practical as well as legal. There are solutions for those suffering the hassles, limitations and humiliations that the system exposes them to. We can hopefully discuss and exchange some ideas, alternatives and potential solutions.

Unfortunately, probation officers, whether intentionally or not, are sometimes more oppressive and unfair than they should be. They are humans, too, but the bureacracy they work in sometimes makes it appear that they are inflexible and difficult. They have alot of pressure, institutionally, as well as politically, and sometimes those on probation, their families and their lifestyles suffer greatly as a result. Often these problems end in violations of probation, resulting in days, weeks or months spent in jail awaiting a resolution to those charges, even when they are really just a trivial matter or caused by a misunderstanding or financial difficulties.

Let's share our thoughts and experiences. Maybe we can find solutions, or at least have a place to vent our frustrations.

Criminal Practice Builders
The Advocate building
315 SE 7th Street
Second Floor
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 320-9911 ● (954) 463-5664 Fax