If you were convicted of a criminal offense in California and sentenced to serve a period of time on probation as a result you are likely counting the days until your probation is over. You may also be wondering, “can I terminate my probation early in California?” The good news is that it is possible to terminate your probation early in California. Because of the importance of the subject matter and the complexity of the legal procedures involved it is always best to consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you wish to try and get released from probation early; however, some general information about who may be eligible for early termination and how the process works may also be helpful.
While a probationary sentence is certainly preferable to a term of imprisonment in jail or prison, probation can be extremely restrictive as well as costly. Moreover, the numerous conditions and requirements that go along with probation make it is easy to violate probation. It is not surprising that people often seek early termination.
California Penal Code 1203.3 PC allows a judge to terminate your probation early; however, a judge is not required to do so. Before a judge will even consider terminating your probation the judge will want to see proof that you have complied with all standard and special conditions of your probation. Those conditions, may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
- Payment of all fines and costs
- Completion of all required examinations and evaluations
- Completion of all classes and counseling
- Payment of restitution
- Clean drug and alcohol tests
- Completion of required community work service
In addition, you will need to provide the court with a good reason to terminate your probation early, such as:
- You cannot secure employment because of your status as a probationer
- You need to move out of the county/state for your employment
- You are restricted from traveling but are required to do so for your job
To request an early termination your criminal defense attorney must file the appropriate motion with the court and notify the prosecuting attorney’s office of the filing. A hearing is then held where the judge will hear evidence and argument in support of and against the request. A judge may terminate your probation at any time but they typically want to see you complete at least half of your sentence before agreeing to terminate. If the judge grants the motion, your conviction may also be reduced to a misdemeanor if it was a “wobbler” and/or dismissed outright if you qualify for dismissal.
If you wish to pursue early termination of your probation in California, consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney. Contact San Diego probation attorney Domenic J. Lombardo today at (619) 232-5122 for a free and confidential consultation.