Probation may restrict you in several ways. For example, you may find it difficult to travel, stay close to your spouse, find a job or hold a particular office. So, probation may interfere with your normal life. However, the law allows you to end the period of the probation by filing a petition to end the probation. But you want to know the requirements and the evidence you should provide to convince the judge to terminate your probation early.
The best way to end your probation is by discussing your situation with your attorney. To secure the early termination of your probation, you must show you followed the conditions of the probation, and you have a pressing matter to end the probation early. To have a successful legal process, you must work with a well-skilled criminal defense attorney.
You face informal probation after committing misdemeanor crimes. Informal probation is usually unsupervised. The burden of proving all probation requirements is on you. You want to remember all the rules, obligations, and dates yourself. The rules may include:
- Alcohol treatment.
- Installing a breathalyzer in your vehicle.
- Mandatory classes.
- Wearing an ankle bracelet and community service.
You want to document meeting all the requirements and then present the evidence in court to show the court that you completed it by a specific date.
You attend formal probation after committing felony cases. However, not all felonies attract formal probation; violent and sex crimes attract felony charges. Formal probation is also known as supervised probation. Mostly, you are issued with a probation officer. The officer wants you to report to your probation officer. The officer will check on the following:
- If you are looking for work or if you are working currently.
- The activities you have been doing.
- Whether you meet the obligations of any court-order project.
Formal probation has serious probation restrictions. The law enforcement officers may subject you to random drug testing. Again you may not move out of the state without permission from the officer. You may also be prevented from associating with someone.
California Penal Code 1203.3PC
The ability of the court to change the probation terms lies under CPC 1203.3. The PC allows the court to change, modify, revoke and terminate probation. If the court receives evidence that you violate the probation terms, the court may extend, revoke, or modify the probation with severe penalties. PC 1203.3 gives the court power to adjust the probation terms to ensure there is justice. Again PC 1203.3 allows the court to reward good behavior by shortening or terminating probation length. The court can do so if you meet all probation conditions and there is a genuine reason for granting the probation termination. If you have any questions about the statute, you want to consult your criminal defense attorney.
Valid Reasons for Probation Termination
Apart from showing the court that you meet all the requirements for early probation termination, you must also have valid reasons to show that probation is interfering with the main aspects of your life. For example, one of the main reasons you can request the termination of your probation is you will be able to delete your criminal records. In return, you can seek a new job and rent a new house. Again, you might also need to move from one place to another for one reason.
The early termination will more likely work when you adhere to the terms and conditions of the probation. As mentioned above, you must show you have changed your behavior and become a law-abiding citizen. But remember to always work with your attorney to assist you in seeking early termination. The attorney will also help you include the main reasons why you seek the early termination.
The Requirements for Early Termination of Probation
Not every person is eligible for early termination of their probation. To qualify for probation termination, you must meet your probation requirements. Otherwise, you will not meet the requirements of California penal code 1203.39(a). Every case is different, and the court imposes different conditions on the defendants. The following are the main conditions of probation:
- Completion of compulsory classes like DUI school
- Obtaining employment
- No pending or new charge
- Completion of drug abuse and alcohol counseling
- Complying with sobriety requirements
- Completion of community service keeping away from the alleged victim
- Paying the restitution fines and fees
Usually, if you have adhered to the conditions and terms of the probation, you become eligible for early termination of your probation. In many cases, the criminal court judges cannot consider your petition for early termination of your probation unless you have served more than half of the probation term,m.
The judge may also consider other factors to determine whether you are eligible for the termination of your probation. Your criminal defense attorney must also convince the prosecutor you qualify for the probation termination. For example, your attorney can argue that you have served your rehabilitation program and do not require supervision. Also, the attorney can say you do not threaten public safety. The following are the other factors the judge may consider as outlined under California PC 1203.39(a):
- Previous criminal record
- Whether vulnerable or violent victims are involved
- The severity of the alleged crime
- The hardship resulting from the probation
Your probation expert can play a significant role during your early termination court proceeding. The officer can act as a witness if you have reformed your behaviors. But when the probation professional believes you still require supervision, you will have a tougher time selling your idea to the judge. Therefore you do not need to discuss any legal matter with your probation expert. Always consult your attorney and not the probation officer. Your attorney will always guide you on what to do during probation. Also, the attorney will guide you on how to terminate your probation early.
How to File a Motion to Terminate Your Probation in California
If you want to file a motion to terminate your probation in California, you must ask the criminal court for a court date. Your attorney should inform the court clerk that you want to file a motion to terminate your probation. The lawyer should explain to the court that you have reformed and you have good conduct, and your good behavior justifies why you request the termination of the probation.
The prosecutor has the opportunity to answer you about the motion. Note the prosecutor may provide an argument against you. After your attorney and the prosecutor make their arguments, the criminal court judge then makes a ruling. Remember, the judge can determine whether to grant you the motion for early termination of your probation.
Once the criminal court discharges your probation status, you will receive relief from further obligations. Alternatively, when the court denies you the motion, you still have an opportunity to repeat the criminal court later. The process of obtaining early termination can be a complex one. So, it would help if you worked closely with highly skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys. The attorney will help file the motion for termination of your probation and ensure you understand how the legal process works.
If the court denies you the petition with prejudice, you will be required to complete the probation without requesting another motion to terminate the probation. You are more likely to face petition denial when you file the motion without meeting the requirements. Again, severe offenses like violent crimes can make the court deny you the petition with prejudice.
How to Prove You Have Reformed
To secure the early termination, you need to show evidence to the judge that you have reformed your behaviors. You can use evidence like:
- Securing employment
- You have attended the mandatory classes.
- Obtaining a degree
- Committing yourself to community service projects like voluntary participation in drug and alcohol programs or coaching youth team
How Probation Works in California
Probation may be part of your sentence issued by the court during your trial. The probation can sentence you instead of facing the jail period, or it can be an additional penalty to your jail term. Either way, probation is a period to prove your ability to adhere to the law. The probation lasts for several years. Note it may be either supervised(formal) or unsupervised(informal). Again the judge imposes certain conditions of the probation, which you must follow during the probation period. Ensure you consult your attorney when the court sets certain conditions you do not understand.
What Kind of Proof Do I Need to End My Probation Early
It is the Judge's discretion to terminate probation before the written dates. The judge will require various proofs from you to justify early termination. Supporting evidence to end your probation includes a wide variety of things. The court will require evidence why you should be granted early termination. That's why you must work with a well-skilled criminal defense attorney. The attorney will discuss with you the case and collect sufficient evidence to help convince the court to terminate your probation. The evidence includes:
- Evidence that you have not repeated the crime or committed any other crime
- A proof you have completed all the court-ordered requirements for the probation like classes, counseling, community service, court fines, restitution, and probation costs.
- Evidence that you have no other unresolved offenses
- Documentation that if you injured the victim, you have paid restitution to the victim.
- A proof you are living a responsible life
- Letters from neighbors, clergy, community leaders, and employers
- A proof you Passed all drug tests while on probation.
If you meet the above requirements, the court may terminate your probation. You have to note that this will only happen if you have good conduct and your actions prove that you are reformed. Before the court ends your probation, they will be convinced you are not risking other people's lives and that you are moving in the right direction. Therefore gather as much evidence as possible to help you challenge the court.
How Long Should You Wait to File for the Petition for Early Termination?
The criminal court wants a report on your progress for the last 12 to 18 months if you're serving felony probation. The period is considered from the period you commenced your probation. Alternatively, if you are serving a misdemeanor or informal probation, the law requires you to wait for half of your probation period before you seek to terminate your probation. Inform your defense attorney whenever you wish to file the motion to terminate the probation. The attorney will help you know whether you are eligible for the early termination.
The Potential Benefits of Early Termination
The main benefit of seeking early termination of your probation is that you will be able to erase your criminal record immediately after the court dismisses your probation. After the court expunges your criminal records, you start enjoying the rights you had lost through your conviction.
Secondly, by terminating the probation, you will no longer be in a position to violate the terms and conditions of the probation. When you are not under probation, and the police arrest you, the law allows you to have a jury, and you cannot serve a jail term unless the court convicts you. The prosecution team has the burden to prove you committed the alleged crime.
When you violate the probation conditions, the arresting officers will come for you and land you in custody even if you do not have pending criminal charges. You will not be entitled to a jury trial or any opportunity to defend yourself. The prosecutor only needs to prove you violated the conditions of the probations.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
For the court to terminate your probation early, you must show that your behavior has reformed. As discussed above, for the court to end your probation early, you must meet the requirements outlined by California PC 1203.39(a). If you seek to file a petition for early termination of your probation, you want to work with an aggressive criminal defense attorney.
At the Record Expungement Attorney, our criminal attorneys have handled numerous cases involving early probation termination. We have provided legal services in Los Angeles, CA, for decades. Therefore contact us as soon as you wish to terminate your probation. Contact us at 424-286-1516, and we will help you terminate your probation.