In California, probation is typically granted as a pronunciation of clemency towards an individual found guilty of an offense. Probation can sometimes be used as punishment in place of a jail term. Violations of your probation can have serious repercussions on your criminal record.

It's crucial to follow the conditions set out for your probation because you might need to approach the court at some point for a favor. Having your record expunged is one such favor. If you violate the terms of your probation, you could have a tough time trying to get your record expunged.

What is Probation?

Probation is among the four types of correctional supervision; the rest include jail, prison, and parole. In California, probation is among the most commonly used methods of correctional supervision.

Courts can sentence a defendant to the supervision of a probation officer as a substitute for prison or jail. Probation is a court-granted privilege that enables you to forgo serving your maximum sentence for a crime by imposing certain conditions on you.

You may be sentenced to a misdemeanor or felony probation. The majority of misdemeanor probation sentences are typically regarded as informal. This indicates that you won't be obligated to have frequent visits with your probation officer and also that you will not have to worry about having unexpected home searches.

Generally speaking, felony probation is monitored, and based on the charges, the defendant could be required to report to their designated probation officer every week or every month.

Typically, probation can last between three to five years. Legally, some charges call for a 4-year probation term. Besides the actual Probation, you're typically given several conditions that you need to follow to complete the probation term.

Mostly, when you're on felony or misdemeanor probation, you're needed to not violate any laws, settle your fees and fines, and sometimes attend certain classes. These will always be explained to you once you enter a plea deal.

California's Probationary Terms

There are several terms and regulations you need to follow to maintain good terms with the court, irrespective of if you, the accused, were sentenced to misdemeanor probation or felony probation.

For felonies, this usually involves weekly check-ins with your probationary officer as well as giving them written notice, within 24 hours, that you plan on leaving the state, refrain from associating with any recognized felons or people out on felony probation, among other things.

You may also be required to attend classes for a felony or misdemeanor Probation. For instance, if you are found guilty of breaking Penal Code 273.5(a), you must finish Batterer's Treatment Program which lasts for 52 weeks.

Failing to complete this treatment program or if you are eliminated from it will lead to a breach of probation.

You need to also pay any fines or court fees. If you fail to do so, you will be in violation of the probation. You could also be required to serve a jail sentence, even though it's through a Home Confinement or Work Release Program.

You will also be in violation if these conditions are not met. For the duration of their probation, anyone involved in a prostitution case—whether they are the purported sex worker or the "John"—must avoid the particular location where the presumed prostitution occurred.

These conditions, naturally, need to be sensible given your criminal charges. For instance, if you're charged with Domestic Abuse against your spouse, a condition of your probationary term cannot require that you immediately divorce them.

However, a Judge may issue a Protective Order as a condition of probation, prohibiting you from seeing your spouse while you are on probation, based on the particulars of your matter.

Another illustration would be that if you admitted guilt to a DUI offense, you would not be required to be registered as a sexual offender under Penal Code 290. This could take a lot of evidence to prove that the DUI was somehow motivated by sexual motivation, so that wouldn't be a suitable probationary term for you.

Probation may be granted with different terms based on the purported offense. During your probation, you'll be conditionally discharged from detention and will continue to stay free provided you follow the conditions outlined. If probation is completed, the court could throw out your guilty verdict and grant you early probation termination.

Common California Probation Violations

If you're taken into custody and accused of another offense while still serving your probation, you will be put on trial for the second charge, and your probation will certainly be terminated.

The majority of probation offenses, nevertheless, are merely "technical" infringements of the court's stipulated rules and regulations rather than criminal offenses. The following are just a few examples of probation violations:

  • Failure to show up for scheduled court hearings
  • Failure to complete the court-ordered treatment, education, or counseling
  • Failure to settle any fines or fees imposed by the court
  • Failure to perform community service as ordered by the court
  • Failure to report to the probation officer as mandated
  • Failure to keep a job or failure to pass a drug test
  • "Absconding" or fleeing the area without asking for permission.
  • Contravening a restraining or protective order after a domestic violence charge

Anyone who is accorded a probationary term by the California State needs to completely comprehend that they are getting leniency and mercy from the court, and they need to consent to and abide by the conditions of their probation to avoid spending time in jail.

Since each case is unique, judges in California set probationary conditions that are specific to every single case. For instance, a probationer found guilty of misappropriation of funds will likely be permitted to take alcohol while on probation. However, a defendant found guilty of a DUI offense might not.

How a Violation of Your Probation Conditions Can Affect Your Record Expungement

A California expungement refers to the process of having a criminal record removed from your record. This implies you can testify under oath that you weren't convicted of the erased offense. After your criminal record is erased, most employers would not require you to report a conviction, and you'll be able to apply for public licenses.

If you didn't infringe any of the conditions of your probation, you would be eligible for an expungement. In this case, the magistrate can't deny your appeal. However, if you infringed a condition of your probation and have been dismissed from probation, the magistrate would reject your expungement application. Take note that if you've been caught and found guilty of a criminal offense while on probation, you have infringed the conditions of your probation, which require you to be law-abiding.

In such circumstances, the magistrate has the authority to approve your expungement petition for the sake of justice also known as discretionary provision. The trial court would take into account any pertinent material, including the defendant's behavior after finishing probation, when deciding whether to approve an expungement petition under the discretionary rule.

This implies that the judge would consider the following when deciding whether or not to approve an expungement of your record in the interests of justice:

  • The circumstances surrounding your probation termination or violation, including whether or not the probation infringement was comparable to the original offense
  • What led up to your probation infringement and how it occurred
  • When you violated your probation
  • The severity of the probation violation
  • Your general behavior and conduct while serving probation
  • Your criminal record
  • All supporting evidence your attorney would present to the Court that proves you deserve your record to be expunged, like how the criminal record is hindering you from getting gainful job opportunities; your need to care and provide for your family members; and your general activity and reputation in your society
  • The severity of your original offense

It is critical for your attorney to demonstrate to the court why you're eligible for expungement. An experienced attorney would take pride in uncovering the specific aspects of your life that would allow them to develop a solid argument for your lawsuit.

The court's decision would be influenced by events that occurred after your probation termination or violation, including your education, sobriety, career advancements, community activity, fulfillment of family obligations, and any other indications of personal growth.

If you've violated a provision of your probation or received a subsequent charge, it's probably advisable to avoid future infringements and to boost your personal growth and positive relationships with society, especially in a role related to the initial offense. This will boost your chances of having your record expunged.

Why You Should Expunge Your California Record

A criminal record would make it difficult to get employment, retain custody of your loved ones, or apply for a loan or credit card. You can avoid such issues by requesting an expungement of your record. Having a criminal record doesn't imply that you have perpetrated a serious offense. Anyone can make a mistake, and the consequences of their conviction shouldn't have a detrimental effect on the rest of their life.

There are numerous advantages to having a conviction expunged. For starters, it will provide you with peace of mind. Expungement relieves an individual of the stigma and consequences that could follow a conviction, as stated in the California PC 1203.4.

Other advantages include:

Finding Employment

Nowadays, the majority of employers demand a background check from job applicants. These checks will reveal information such as convictions, arrest records, and the applicant's probation status. With an expunged record, your criminal conviction won't be revealed during a background check. Employers may also inquire whether a candidate has ever been charged with an offense. Once your record has been erased, you can legally deny the expunged conviction.

Securing a Place to Stay

Landlords carry out background checks when prospective tenants apply for one of their houses. If they learn that you have a criminal history, they could reject your application or raise the rent and/or deposit. You will find it easier to apply for housing once your case has been erased.

Securing a Loan

A loan could provide you with financial security once you have served your term. Some lending institutions believe people with criminal convictions will have trouble repaying their debts. This could result in your loan application being declined or getting higher interest rates.

If your conviction is expunged, it won't affect your eligibility to get a loan.

Obtaining Professional Licenses

Most professions demand a valid state license to operate. Examples include people in the medical or legal professions, as well as real estate experts and contractors. If you're questioned about your past convictions while filing for a professional license, you would be required to reveal them. However, state licensing organizations are likely to issue a state license to individuals whose criminal records have been erased.

Assisting you in Court Testimony

If you're called to testify in court, your credibility will play a significant role in the case's outcome. A previously erased conviction can't be used by an opposing lawyer to question the credibility of your testimony on the stand. Lawsuits in civil court include family law, landlord/tenant disputes, probate trials, and small claims cases. This doesn't apply to criminal offenses in which expunged records are not covered.

Benefits of Hiring a Skilled Attorney to Avoid Expungement Denial

Different reasons could cause your petition to be dismissed or rejected by the judge overseeing your expungement matter. The judge could even reject or slow down the progression petition simply because it's incomplete or utilizes the incorrect form.

The prosecuting attorney or probation officer also has the option to deny the expungement plea. If that occurs, you need to have a reputable legal team on your side to represent you and address the objection.

Choosing the right legal representation can determine whether your petition for expungement is approved or rejected. If you want to get your case expunged, you should select a law practice that has successfully helped others expunge their criminal records and has the skills, determination, as well as resources to do so.

Find a Los Angeles Record Expungement Attorney Near Me

California typically does not grant expungement to those who have violated their probation terms. There are circumstances, nevertheless, in which you could be eligible for this procedure. A seasoned attorney can assist you in this regard.

If you've been charged with violating your probation and wish to expunge your record, we invite you to contact us at the Record Expungement Attorney. Call us today at 424-286-1516 if you are in Los Angeles.