House Arrest: Florida’s Community Control Program
The Florida Community Control Program places offenders under house arrest or electronic surveillance as an alternative to a traditional incarceration sentence. The program is the largest of its kind in the country, taking in about a thousand new prisoners each month. [i] As described by the Florida Department of Corrections, community control is “a form of intensive supervised house arrest in the community, including surveillance on weekends and holidays, administered by officers with limited caseloads. It is an individualized program in which the freedom of the offender is restricted within the community, home or non-institutional residential placement, and specified sanctions are imposed and enforced.” [ii]
In Florida, a sentencing judge may sentence a defendant to community control as an alternative to imprisonment. Pursuant to Florida Statute §948.10(1), the following three categories of offenders are eligible for community control: (1) Probation violators charged with technical violations or misdemeanor violations; (2) Parole violators charged with technical violations or misdemeanor violations; and (3) Individuals found guilty of felonies, who, due to their criminal backgrounds or the seriousness of the offenses, would not be placed on regular probation. Offenders convicted of capital felonies (felonies punishable by death) are not eligible for a community control sentence.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or non-capital felony or a parole or probation violation in South Florida, it is in your best interests to hire an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney or Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney such as the ones at the South Florida law firm of Galanter Law. Here at Galanter Law, our Miami criminal attorneys and Fort Lauderdale criminal attorneys will do everything in their power to keep you out of jail, including advocating on your behalf for an alternative sentence such as house arrest.
If you are already on house arrest, you can violate your community control program in two ways: (1) a substantive violation for breaking another law while on house arrest (i.e., you are charged with possession of marijuana while on house arrest for a theft conviction), or (2) a technical violation for violating any term or condition of your house arrest (i.e., missing a meeting with your community control officer while on house arrest). If you are accused of violating your community control, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and you may have to wait in county jail until your violation of community control hearing. At your hearing, the court may revoke, modify, or continue your community control. If it is revoked, the judge may impose any sentence which it might have originally imposed, such as incarceration, before placing you into community control. With so much on the line, it is critically important that you hire an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney to represent you at your violation of community control hearing.
At Galanter Law, our Miami criminal defense lawyers and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers have substantial experience in both helping clients obtain alternative sentences such as house arrest and helping clients who have been charged with violating their community control get the charge dismissed or avoid the revocation of their house arrest sentence and subsequent incarceration. Contact us today—we can help you.
– Commentary by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Yale Galanter:
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[i] Clear, Todd R., George F. Cole, and Michael D. Reisig. American Corrections. 10th ed. Belmont: Cenage Learning, 2013. Web. 14 May 2013.
[ii] “Overview of Community Corrections.” Florida Department of Corrections. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013.