Guidelines for Probation and Release Conditions

If you have been arrested and held in custody, you might face unacceptable release conditions that could jeopardize your freedom. Our St. Augustine criminal defense attorney can review three aspects of the case for you. First, they will assess related criminal law and precedence in the matter. Even when the probation department suggests strict terms, the judge generally has leeway when enforcing said terms. Unusual terms are easier to challenge. Second, your attorney can question if the release term is relevant to the situation. The courts generally look for the least restrictive measures in order to effectively and reasonably accomplish the goals of the court. These goals include community and victim safety and the rehabilitation of the defendant.

California Rule

The “California Rule” means that the courts generally do not impose random conditions of probation. For example, when someone is on probation for a white-collar offense, they might need to advise their probation officer prior to opening a checking account. However, that condition would not be relevant to someone accused of a DUI. On the other hand, the same white-collar offender might have no history of substance abuse and may not have been drinking when they committed the instant offense. They should not be prohibited from consuming alcohol while on probation. California Rules mean that the probation terms must apply to the present offense or could be imposed to prevent future criminal behavior. Finally, the terms must only relate to conduct that is illegal in and of itself. Our St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer can help if you have further questions about these conditions.

Constitutional Rights

The courts will also assess if the release or probation term violates any First Amendment rights, including free speech, due process, unreasonable searches and seizures and protection against self-incrimination. The terms must be specific and cannot address vague subjects, such as association with someone of a disreputable character or restrictions on owning a computer. These would be too difficult to define or to enforce.

For answers to your questions on conditions of release, contact our St. Augustine criminal defense attorney. You can reach the attorneys at Canan Law at (904) 849-2266.


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