TODAY   |  August 25, 2012

Casey Anthony’s probation is over

Casey Anthony is a free woman today, finishing a year's probation this week for a bad check conviction.  The probation came on the heels of her acquittal in connection with the death of her daughter, Caylee.  So what will she do now? NBC's Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> casey anthony is a free woman this morning after finishing a year's probation for a bad check conviction. her whereabouts had been monitored since she was acquitted of murdering her daughter, caylee. so, what will she do now? here's nbc 's janet shamlian .

>> reporter: the florida department of corrections confirmed it, casey anthony has completed a year's probation for a check fraud conviction. she is officially free. but where is she? her location the past 12 months has been the source of endless speculation. required to stay in florida and make regular visits to a probation officer, there were almost no sightings of her.

>> we, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.

>> reporter: now the 26-year-old can live anywhere and do as she pleases for the first time since she was acquitted last year of murder charges in the death of her daughter, caylee, in a trial that captivated the nation.

>> she's going to face challenges of all kinds -- trying to get a job, trying to go anywhere in public without people recognizing her, having a normal life of any kind is going to be a serious challenge.

>> reporter: a video diary that surfaced online in january offered no hint to her location.

>> scary because i hate being on camera.

>> reporter: it was a different look than her courthouse appearances, sporting short blond hair and black-rimmed glasses.

>> i'll be here for many, many months.

>> reporter: there were protests after her acquittal in florida and outrage across the country from those who blamed her for caylee's death, and there were threats made against her in the past. following her release from probation, her criminal defense attorney, cheney mason, told nbc news, "we continue to be concerned about her safety and security. right now, she is safe and will continue to be." anthony has been unemployed, according to her monthly checking form, and had no probation violations, say corrections officials. she is no longer under their jurisdiction in any way.

>> casey anthony is probably never going to be free. she's always going to be projected to intense public scrutiny because of the nature of this trial.

>> reporter: while she's legally free, casey anthony may find herself forever bound by chains in the court of public opinion . for "today," janet shamlian , nbc news.