After you are arrested for a crime, you may have legal options available to you that can prevent you from being incarcerated or serving time in jail. Here’s what you need to know about probation before and after judgment and how an attorney can help you petition the court for probation before judgment. 

The Two Types of Probation  

There are two types of criminal probation recognized in the state of Florida: 

Probation After Judgment 

Probation after a judgment is the most common type of probation and the one most people think of when they hear the term “probation.” Probation, in this case, means that a defendant has been released from jail and can reintegrate with society under the watchful eye of a probation officer. 

A probation officer will visit the defendant regularly, perform random drug and alcohol tests, and make sure the defendant is meeting their court-ordered post-conviction requirements. 

Probation Before Judgment 

A probation before judgment is less common but tends to be in the best interest of the defendant. This means that a defendant is put on probation before ever being tried for the crime they are accused of. What probation looks like differs from defendant to defendant and is largely based on their criminal history if any, their flight risk, and the severity of the crime they are accused of committing. If the probation before judgment is completed, the defendant typically never has to see the inside of the courtroom. 

The Primary Difference Between Probation Before and After Judgment 

The key difference between probation before and after a judgment is that one stays on your criminal record and the other does not. If you are able to secure probation before judgment and your probation is satisfactorily completed, you are not convicted of the crime you were charged with. You can apply to have the records expunged after your probation has been completed, leaving you with a clean criminal record. 

When to Contact an Experienced Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested and charged for a crime of any kind, don’t wait to get legal support from a seasoned criminal defense attorney in Florida. T. Martin Knopes has a substantial track record of success defending his clients against criminal charges and will work hard to protect your rights, future, and a criminal record under the law. Call now for your consultation at (850) 683-0700.