When Court May Place Defendant on Probation or Into Community Control

948.01 When court may place defendant on probation or into community control.

(1) Any court of the state having original jurisdiction of criminal actions may at a time to be determined by the court, either with or without an adjudication of the guilt of the defendant, hear and determine the question of the probation of a defendant in a criminal case, except for an offense punishable by death, who has been found guilty by the verdict of a jury, has entered a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere, or has been found guilty by the court trying the case without a jury. If the court places the defendant on probation or into community control for a felony, the department shall provide immediate supervision by an officer employed in compliance with the minimum qualifications for officers as provided in s. 943.13. In no circumstances shall a private entity provide probationary or supervision services to felony or misdemeanor offenders sentenced or placed on probation or other supervision by the circuit court.

(2) If it appears to the court upon a hearing of the matter that the defendant is not likely again to engage in a criminal course of conduct and that the ends of justice and the welfare of society do not require that the defendant presently suffer the penalty imposed by law, the court, in its discretion, may either adjudge the defendant to be guilty or stay and withhold the adjudication of guilt; and, in either case, it shall stay and withhold the imposition of sentence upon such defendant and shall place the defendant upon probation. However, no defendant placed on probation for a misdemeanor may be placed under the supervision of the department unless the circuit court was the court of original jurisdiction.

(3) If, after considering the provisions of subsection (2) and the offender's prior record or the seriousness of the offense, it appears to the court in the case of a felony disposition that probation is an unsuitable dispositional alternative to imprisonment, the court may place the offender in a community control program as provided in s. 948.10. Or, in a case of prior disposition of a felony commitment, upon motion of the offender or the department or upon its own motion, the court may, within the period of its retained jurisdiction following commitment, suspend the further execution of the disposition and place the offender in a community control program upon such terms as the court may require. The court may consult with a local offender advisory council pursuant to s. 948.90 with respect to the placement of an offender into community control. Not later than 3 working days before the hearing on the motion, the department shall forward to the court all relevant material on the offender's progress while in custody. If this sentencing alternative to incarceration is utilized, the court shall:

(a) Determine what community-based sanctions will be imposed in the community control plan. Community-based sanctions may include, but are not limited to, rehabilitative restitution in money or in kind, curfew, revocation or suspension of the driver's license, community service, deprivation of nonessential activities or privileges, or other appropriate restraints on the offender's liberty.

(b) After appropriate sanctions for the offense are determined, develop, approve, and order a plan of community control which contains rules, requirements, conditions, and programs that are designed to encourage noncriminal functional behavior and promote the rehabilitation of the offender and the protection of the community. If the offense was a controlled substance violation, the conditions shall include a requirement that the offender submit to random substance abuse testing intermittently throughout the term of supervision, upon the direction of the correctional probation officer as defined in s. 943.10(3).

(c) Require the department to provide notifications pursuant to s. 948.10(7).

(4) The sanctions imposed by order of the court shall be commensurate with the seriousness of the offense. When community control or a program of public service is ordered by the court, the duration of community control supervision or public service may not be longer than the sentence that could have been imposed if the offender had been committed for the offense or a period not to exceed 2 years, whichever is less. When restitution or public service is ordered by the court, the amount of restitution or public service may not be greater than an amount which the offender could reasonably be expected to pay or perform.

(5) The imposition of sentence may not be suspended and the defendant thereupon placed on probation or into community control unless the defendant is placed under the custody of the department or another public or private entity. A private entity may not provide probationary or supervision services to felony or misdemeanor offenders sentenced or placed on probation or other supervision by the circuit court.

(6) When the court, under any of the foregoing subsections, places a defendant on probation or into community control, it may specify that the defendant serve all or part of the probationary or community control period in a community residential or nonresidential facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Children and Family Services or any public or private entity providing such services, and it shall require the payment prescribed in s. 948.09.

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