Florida Court Discusses Early Termination of Supervised Release

People convicted of drug crimes often face substantial penalties. For example, they may be sentenced to both imprisonment and supervised release. In some cases, an offender may be eligible for early termination of supervised release, however. In a recent Florida ruling, the court discussed what factors the courts consider in determining whether an early termination of supervised release is appropriate. If you are accused of a drug crime, you should meet with a seasoned Clearwater drug crime defense lawyer about your options for seeking a favorable result.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was charged with and pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamines with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The trial court sentenced him to one hundred and twenty months of imprisonment for the drug offense and six months imprisonment for the firearm offense. The sentences were to be served consecutively. The court also sentenced him to five years of supervised release following his imprisonment.

Allegedly, he began his term of supervised release in July 2019. After he completed the first year of his release, he filed a motion requesting that the court terminate the remainder of his sentence. The trial court denied his motion, and he appealed.

Factors Considered in Evaluating a Request for Early Termination of Supervised Release

Under Florida law, a defendant may move to end his term of supervised release at any point after the end of the first year of supervised release. A district court may terminate the term of supervised release and discharge the offender if the court determines that the conduct of the defendant warrants such action and that a termination would be in the interest of justice.

A decision on whether to terminate supervised release can only be made after considering certain statutory factors. While the district court does not need to identify the factors it considered or specifically state that it weighed such factors, it must set forth an order that contains adequate information to allow an appellate court to review the district court’s application of the factors in a meaningful manner.

In the subject case, the appellate court found that the district court abused its discretion because it denied the defendant’s motion without explaining its decision sufficiently to allow for a significant appellate review. Specifically, the district court stated it considered the defendant’s motion but did not refer to any sentencing factor or show that it relied on any such factor, especially in light of the fact that the government did not submit a response to the defendant’s motion. As such, the appellate court vacated the district court ruling and remanded the matter for further proceedings.

Meet with an Experienced Clearwater Attorney

Drug crime convictions typically carry weighty sentences, but some people convicted of drug offenses may be eligible for sentence reductions. If you are charged with a drug crime, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney to weigh your available defenses. William Hanlon of Hanlon Law is an experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney who is proficient at defending people accused of serious offenses, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Hanlon via the online form or by calling 727-897-5413 to set up a conference.

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