If you have been arrested and want to avoid going to jail, negotiating terms of probation is a good way to accomplish this goal. Many criminal cases are resolved by allowing the defendant to remain free from incarceration, but still punished in some fashion. Two different ways you can serve your sentence without going to jail are by going on probation, or being placed under community control. These forms of punishment have significant differences, and it is beneficial to know these differences if you are considering either.

Three differences between probation and community control are:

  • Community control is more like being under house arrest, since it is a form of punishment that lets you serve your sentence outside the walls of the jailhouse, but does require that you not leave your home. You will likely have to wear a monitor, commonly referred to as an “ankle bracelet” that tracks your movement. With probation, you are not required to remain in your residence and can go about many of your normal activities such as going to school or work.


  • Community control is reserved for more serious offenses, while probation is available to those defendants who are facing less severe charges.


  • Community control can be used as a form of punishment for those that are first placed on probation, but then violate that probation.

In both instances you are able to stay out of jail, but your freedoms are curtailed. Probation is the preferred method of punishment, but as stated that can change to community control if you violate your probation. Violating probation seems like it would be hard to do, because most people think of probation as being a clear set of do’s and don’ts. However, there are several probation violations that can take place unknowingly and without any intent to commit a violation. If you have been charged with a crime and want to do all you can to stay out of jail, let us help defend your case and work out arrangements you can keep. Or, if you have been charged with violating your probation, call us for help to defend these charges. A probation violation is considered a new charge, and it requires a separate defense from the defense you offered when originally arrested.

If you questions about probation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.