When Court May Impose Fine and Place on Probation or Into Community Control as an Alternative to Imprisonment

948.011 When court may impose fine and place on probation or into community control as an alternative to imprisonment.--

As experienced Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys, the skilled lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert represent clients fighting a wide range of charges, from domestic violence and petit theft to DUI and white-collar crime. As qualified attorneys representing clients and fighting for their rights, if our client is found to have committed a certain offense, it is our responsibility and our passion to ensure that our clients receive the most minimal punishment allowable under the law, defined by the Florida State Statutes.

As most people know, as the seriousness of a certain offense increases, so too does the applicable punishment as prescribed by Florida law. Typically, the more egregious the alleged crime, the more severe the punishment. For example, whereas a moving violation might yield a punishment of up to hundreds of dollars in fines, a third-degree felony can yield years in prison in addition to thousands of dollars in fines, years of probation and hundreds of hours of community service.

The law that specifies and defines crimes and associated punishments is written in black and white; how the law is interpreted and applied, though, is often based on the discretion of the specific court in which an individual is tried for a crime.
Our experienced Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys know that the law does give some leeway to local courts in determining the fate of individuals convicted of crimes in the State of Florida. Subsection 948.011 of the Florida State Statutes maintains that “when the law authorizes the placing of a defendant on probation, and when the defendant's offense is punishable by both fine and imprisonment, the trial court may, in its discretion, impose a fine upon him or her and place him or her on probation or into community control as an alternative to imprisonment.”

Essentially, when an individual has been placed on probation and when he or she has committed a crime that is punishable by both a fine and imprisonment (such as a combination of penalties from s. 775.082 and s. 775.083), the court can sentence the individual to pay a pay a fine and sentence him or her to probation (or into community control) instead of sentencing the individual to prison time. This substitution will not always take place—as the subsection of the statute states, the court “may, in its discretion” make the decision to impose a fine and probation in lieu of imprisonment.

The fact that this substitution is up to the discretion of the trial court is where our experience truly matters. Our law firm is a partnership of former prosecutors; as such, we are familiar with the procedures, maneuvers and major players in the local criminal justice system, including the criminal courts of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County. With our firm on your side, you will have the best possible chance at easing the penalties imposed on you.

If you have been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are former prosecutors with inside knowledge of local procedures and expert knowledge of Florida law. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, contact 1-888-555-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).

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