Not everyone who is convicted of a criminal offense deserves to be incarcerated as a result of that conviction. With this in mind, the criminal justice system in the United States relies heavily on alternatives to incarceration. Probation is, by far, the most commonly used of those alternatives. If you have been sentenced to probation and have complied with all the terms of your probation you likely want to know “Can I terminate my probation early in Tennessee?”
Probation is a sentencing option that allows a defendant to serve his or her sentence in the community under the court’s supervision. The way a probation sentence usually works is that the judge will sentence a defendant to a term of incarceration, for example one year, and then suspend the entire sentence and allow the defendant to spend a year on probation instead. It is important to note, however, that most probationers actually have a jail/prison sentence “hanging over their heads” throughout their probationary period. A probation violation could result in the court revoking probation and ordering the defendant to serve the suspended sentence in jail/prison.
Assuming, however, that you have not violated the terms of your probation, and have instead complied with the standard and special conditions imposed by the court, you may be eligible to be released from supervision. Tennessee Code Annotated 40-35-308 gives the court the authority to release a probationer from supervision, stating in pertinent part as follows:
(2) Remove a condition; or
(3) Release the defendant from further supervision; provided, that release from supervision shall not discharge the defendant from the remainder of the sentence, and the defendant shall remain within the jurisdiction and authority of the sentencing court until the sentence fully expires. During this period, the defendant’s probation is subject to revocation.
What does this mean? It means the judge can release you from supervision; however, the court does not have the authority under this statute to actually discharge you from the sentence imposed.
Early release from supervision is not something that occurs automatically. If you wish the court to consider releasing you a motion will have to be filed with the sentencing court by an experienced criminal defense attorney. Typically, the court will set the motion for a hearing at which you will need to convince the court that release from supervision is warranted. Specifically, the court will likely want to know:
All special conditions of probation have been completed
You have not violated probation in any way
You have no new charges pending anywhere
Your probation officer agrees with your release from supervision
If you believe you are a good candidate for early release from probation supervision, consult with the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.