Monday, August 3, 2015

Early Termination of Probation of Community Control

Hon. William H. Burgess, III

A court may at any time cause a probationer or offender in community control to appear before it to be admonished or commended, and, when satisfied that its action will be for the best interests of justice and the welfare of society, it may discharge the probationer or offender in community control from further supervision.1 If the probationer has performed satisfactorily, has not been found in violation of any terms or conditions of supervision, and has met all financial sanctions imposed by the court, including, but not limited to, fines, court costs, and restitution, the Department of Corrections may recommend early termination of probation to the court at any time before the scheduled termination date.2 In the case of community control, the trial court may grant “rollover” (conversion to probation) prior to the expiration of the term of community control or termination of community control if the court is satisfied that the defendant has met all conditions.3 The authority conferred upon the trial court to terminate probation or community control is a matter of grace.4 Thus, the court’s decision to grant or deny a motion for early termination is not appealable.5 The State, in particular, has no right under section 924.07(1)6 or its procedural counterpart Rule 9.140(c)7 to appeal an order granting early termination of probation, regardless of what the parties had agreed to in the initial plea, thus rendering “no early termination” agreements utterly unenforceable as a matter of law.8 In this regard, that a trial court is also not authorized to impose a special condition of supervision that purports to divest the Department of Corrections of its statutory authority to recommend early termination of probation or community control.9 Note, however, that the filing of a notice of appeal divests the court of jurisdiction to terminate probation or community control.10


1§ 948.05, Fla. Stat.

2§ 948.04(3), Fla. Stat.

3§ 948.05, Fla. Stat.

4State v. M.R.T., 848 So. 2d 467 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003).

5Burgos v. State, 765 So. 2d 967 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000); see also Thompson v. State, 840 So. 2d 352 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003).

6§ 924.07(1), Fla. Stat.

7Fla. R. App. P. 9.140(c).

8LaFave v. State, 149 So. 3d 662 (Fla. 2014).

9§ 948.04(3), Fla. Stat.; Hopps v. State, — So. 3d —, 2015 WL 493182 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015); Murphy v. State, 976 So. 2d 1242, 1243 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008).

10 6 State v. M.R.T., 848 So. 2d 467 (Fla. 5th DCA 2003); Britt v. State, 687 So. 2d 930 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997); Dailey v. State, 575 So. 2d 237 (Fla. 2d DCA 1991).

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