Debra LaFave Appeals To Florida Supreme Court Over Sex Crimes Probation Reinstatement

Former Florida teacher Debra LaFave, convicted of having sexual relations with a 14-year old student, has been reinstated on probation for 4 years and 2 months, during which time she must obey a curfew and stay away from schools. Lafave was released after pleading to a Judge for a release from the remaining portion of the sentence. Lafave was originally facing 30 years in jail. LaFave spent the year off of probation taking care of her mother, who was stricken with cancer. LaFave’s attorney has appealed to the Florida Supreme Court for a ruling on the case.

Jacksonville Probation requirements can broadly range in type, though there are many standard requirements placed upon those accused of sex crimes, including: imagesdeblafave.jpg

– Some jail-time as a condition of probation
– Being prohibited from violating any law
– Letters of apology
– Being Prohibited from leaving the state
– Reporting to a probation officer
– Community service hours
– Obtaining a job
– Mental health evaluations
– Restitution payments to victims
– Curfews
– Numerous Location Restrictions
Many times, a Judge may impose specific requirements or limitations on the probationer, depending on the crime. For some, this may be wearing an alcohol monitor or other device to ensure sobriety; for others, like LaFave, the limitation may be staying away from schools or other areas where children are, such as public parks or swimming pools. For many, this can be a burden and a nuisance, particularly when one is truly remorseful for the crime one committed.

Many times, when someone want to have their probation reduced or even terminated, they think that the conduct post-conviction is the only conduct the Judge can take into account, and if one has “been good” then one may have their sentence reduced. However, this is not always the case. Many times, The state attorney’s office will contact the victim or parents of victims in these type of cases where an early release of probation is requested. The judge will consider the victim’s position on the matter. Many Judges will simply not grant an early termination of probation, especially on a negotiated, agreed to disposition.

An experienced defense attorney with local knowledge should be able to counsel a client or prospective client on the probability of success. One’s opportunity for an early termination certainly increases if the victim and the state attorney do not oppose the motion for early termination. In the motion, the defense attorney should state at the bottom of the motion if the prosecutor is opposed to the early termination request.

In this case, Lafave pled to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery and was sentenced to three years of community control and seven years of sex offender probation. From this example, one can see that Lafave was able to move on with her life, giving birth to twins and taking care of a cancer-stricken mother. Though sometimes controversial, Judges may be more favorable to a defendant who shows remorse and progress in the right direction.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Florida Judge Puts Debra Lafave Back on Probation After Year Off , ABC News Video