Florida Citrus Smugglers Found Guilty; Sentenced to Probation

Jacksonville’s citizens make mistakes that may lead them to the criminal justice system multiple times. However, no matter how many times the accused may have been convicted in the past, the evidence of the current crime must be the thing that shows one’s guilt or innocence, not past prior acts. One in this situation should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, four Palm Beach County residents will serve federal probation sentences for conspiring to smuggle quarantined citrus plants across state lines. The four were attempting to transport and sell the plants in six other states. The species of citrus plant they were smuggling is quarantined to Florida to stop the spread of citrus canker disease.

Jacksonville probation cases typically involve cases in which someone has wrongfully violated their probation. However, in this case, there was no prior probation sentence .S Many times in Jacksonville, people are placed on probation that may seem odd; the difference is that the probation requirements are reasonably connected to the crime that occurred.

Probation requirements can broadly range in type, though there are many standard requirements placed upon those in the system, including:

– Paying for Supervision costs
– Some jail-time as a condition of probation
– Being prohibited from violating any law
– Submitting to drug testing and treatment
– Letters of apology
– Being Prohibited from leaving the state
– Reporting to a probation officer
– Community service hours
– Being Prohibited from alcohol consumption
– Obtaining a job
– Mental health evaluations
– Restitution payments to victims
These are just some of the standard requirements for probation. The judge deciding what terms will be included in the probation sentence can impose some of their own particular terms to be added to the final sentence. Judges have flexibility in particularizing the terms to the crime and even particularizing the terms to the individual.

The Judge has the discretion to choose specific probation requirements for particular defendants. However, those requirements must be reasonably related to the crime that was committed. In this particular case, that reasonability was absent.

Even if one is remorseful for a crime, a prior record or history of criminal misconduct might tempt a Judge to render a prison sentence. However, with the help of an experienced Jacksonville criminal mischief crimes defense attorney, one could persuade the Judge to render a much lighter punishment that would involve counseling, house arrest or a slightly longer probation, rather than just incarceration.

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: Citrus smugglers found guilty; sentenced to probation, Karla Bowsher, Sun-Sentinel

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