Probation is the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence, where an individual is conditionally released from custody under the supervision of a probation officer or the court. Probation is generally reserved for those individuals whose conditional release into society poses minimal risk to public safety. In order to successfully complete probation and have his or her case dismissed by expungement, a probationer must satisfy all terms and conditions of probation during its entire period, which is usually either three or five years. Failure to satisfy any of the numerous conditions of probation may result in termination of probation and imposition of the sentence.
However, the court may modify terms of probation at any time during a period of probation. Such modification may be done on the court’s own motion, or upon a request of the probation officer, the probationer, or the prosecutor. A court may revoke or modify terms of probation at any time before the expiration of that term. The court’s decision to modify probation must be based upon new facts or changed circumstances. Examples of such circumstances include instances when the probationer has violated any of the conditions of his or her probation, has deceived the court at the time probation was granted, or has subsequently committed other offenses, regardless of whether he or she has been convicted for such offenses.
At the same time, the court has the authority to modify probation conditions in favor of the probationer based upon the same legal standard of changed circumstances. However, the court may not modify a jail term that was included within the terms of a negotiated plea agreement (a “stipulated sentence”) unless both the defendant and the prosecution agree to the proposed modification. Neither is it possible for the court to modify the amount of restitution owned to the victim solely on the evidence of the probationer’s good conduct and reform without showing the existence of compelling and extraordinary reasons. It is also important to know that probation cannon be revoked for lack of payment unless the court finds that the person willfully failed to make restitution or other payments, and probation may not be extended past the maximum period for which the probationer could have been incarcerated, or five years.
An experienced attorney is in the best position to determine what factual circumstances warrant probation modification. This office handles all types of matters involving modification of probation in San Diego County. For a free consultation, contact us at:
For more information on probation modification, see the following: