Super Lawyers
AILA badge
BACDL badge
FACDL badge
Federal Bar Association badge
Broward County bar association
Avvo Rating badge

Probation FAQs

Am I Eligible for Probation?

It all depends on your scoresheet and the crime you were charged with in your Criminal Case. For more information or to find out what you score call Bradford Cohen.

Can I get Probation if I Have no Prior Criminal Record?

It is more likely, but again it depends on your scoresheet and the facts of your case. Additionally, some crimes carry a mandatory minimum which imposes a mandatory prison sentence. All hope is not lost on those criminal case. Bradford Cohen can assist you to put your case in a posture that will result in a positive outcome.

Can I be off Probation Before My Scheduled Time?

Yes, there is no guarantee, but in most cases as long as all the conditions of probation have been met and you have served at least 50% of your sentence, a Judge will consider early termination of probation

What is the Difference Between Adjudication and a Withhold of Adjudication?

Technically it is a term of art in the criminal defense realm. An adjudication means that you are being found guilty of the crime and you will be either a convicted felon or convicted of a misdemeanor offense. This also may have an affect upon your driving privileges or any other license you may hold, such as a concealed weapons permit. A withhold of adjudication means you are not adjudicated guilty, you are not a convicted felon nor are you convicted of any misdemeanor charged. This comes into play in regards to filling out a job application where it is asked if you have ever been Adjudicated of a crime or are you a convicted felon. If there is a withhold on your record you can answer, "no, I have not been adjudicated of a crime".

Can I get My Records Cleared if I Receive a Withhold of Adjudication?

You may be eligible depending on the crime. Please call our offices for more information.

What Should I do if a Motion to Revoke My Probation has Been Filed?

You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. There is a possibility that he may be able to convince the Judge or the district attorney to reinstate your probation or to give you an alternate punishment and then reinstate your probation. In most cases you will have to surrender to the Jail to resolve the matter. Some Judges may allow you an "in court surrender", but those happen very infrequently.

Can I get Drug Treatment?

Sometimes the Court will agree to allow you to enroll in the Drug Court. This is a separate court in which you complete the program, if you are eligible, and your case will be dismissed. If sentenced to probation, the court may also Order you to complete Drug Offender Probation which may include drug treatment.

Even if it is not possible to get your probation reinstated, a private attorney is usually best able to obtain the least amount of jail time in your case.

Is It Possible to Change the Probation Conditions?

Yes. If there is a probation condition that is particularly difficult for you to meet, there may be a very compelling reason for the Court to modify your probation.

Common Probation Terms Defined

Restitution is repayment for having committed a crime. Restitution can be made to a specific victim in a dollar amount to repay for damages or can be made to society by working without pay for a non-profit or governmental agency.

Revocation is the act of removing an offender from community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision due to the offender violating the conditions of his or her supervision and/or committing a new crime.

Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) is an investigation of an offender's criminal history, family history, work history, and risks and needs, conducted by a community supervision officer. The court prior to sentencing considers the resulting Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSIR).

Does It Matter Whether I'm a U.S. Citizen?

Yes, although it all depends on your case and the charges alleged against you. Your citizenship is an extremely important issue. It must be carefully considered in addressing any criminal accusation. I would always recommend retaining an attorney who specializes in immigration law to give you advice on how it will affect you. We have lawyers that work closely with our law firm as of counsel attorneys that specialize in immigration issues. It is important to realize the immigration consequences may be more significant than any criminal punishment. It is important to carefully consider and investigate any potential immigration issues before proceeding to trial or any disposition of a criminal case. There is always developing case law in this area. Most recently the Supreme Court dealt with an issue concerning Felony Possession of Cocaine. For more information on this case and what the Supreme Courts Decision was in the matter contact my office.

How Long Will It Take to Resolve a Criminal Case?

The is no general answer to this question. The amount of time is going to vary considerably depending upon the type of case, the amount of discovery, whether it is in state or federal court, the particular judge, sometimes the particular prosecutor, whether the accused person is in jail or released on bond, the number of involved people, whether the media is placing attention on the case, and the complexity of the case. Each of these factors may cause affect the amount of time it will take to resolve a criminal case.

A law enforcement agency may work on an investigation for a long period of time before the case is filed with the prosecuting authority. If you are alerted to a law enforcement investigation of you or a family member, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. This is particularly true in situations involving federal investigations. Additionally even after arrest the sooner you hire an attorney the sooner he can get to work on your case prior to it being "formally filed". You may be able to get charges dropped even before arraignment.

The goal is to achieve the best result, not a fast result. The outcome of a criminal case is going to be with you for the rest of your life. Some criminal cases take a tremendous amount of time to do it right.