A judge may rule to terminate a defendant’s probation early in some situations. The court can technically end the probation of a defendant at any time. However, judges are unlikely to grant early termination before a defendant has served several months of their probation without any problems.
Early termination can be granted for a variety of reasons. If you would like to petition the court for early termination of your probation under California PC Section 1203.3, reach out to the Simmrin Law Group. Our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers can help you present a compelling case to the judge for why you deserve to have your probation terminated early.
What Do I Need to Do to Qualify for Early Termination of Probation?
To receive early termination of your probation under Penal Code 1203.3, you or your attorney must file a motion with the court and the prosecutor’s office a minimum of two days before the requested hearing date.
Your chances of receiving an early termination can increase significantly if you have an experienced lawyer representing you. Your attorney will speak with the prosecutor to explain why you should be granted early termination of your probation and ask them to support the motion, or at the very least, not oppose it.
During your hearing, your attorney will present evidence of your good conduct and reform and request that the judge grant your motion for early probation in the name of justice. You may not be strictly required to appear at your hearing if your lawyer goes in your place. However, it is typically going to be in your best interest to appear in court for this type of proceeding.
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How Long Do I Have to Wait to File a Request for Early Termination of Probation?
While a judge can technically terminate your probation at any time, they will typically follow an unwritten rule concerning early termination. In most cases, a judge will not grant your request unless you have served at least one year for a misdemeanor offense or 18 months for a felony.
However, you are certainly welcome to submit a request at any time. If you have a strong reason for why you deserve an early termination and a judge that is sympathetic to your case, you might be released from probation before reaching these unofficial benchmarks.
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What Are the Benefits of Early Termination of Probation
Getting your probation terminated early can have significant benefits. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney to put yourself in the best position to take advantage of an early release from probation.
Get Your Conviction Expunged
One of the main reasons that defendants request early release from probation is so that they can apply to get their criminal record expunged. Many people on probation struggle to find work. By getting your conviction expunged, you will not have to worry about employers holding it against you. Expungement can also help if you are looking for housing.
You will likely be able to get your conviction expunged at the same time that you are granted early termination of your probation. When your attorney files the motion for early termination of your probation, they will also petition the court for expungement of the conviction from your criminal record.
If you are granted early termination, the court will generally expunge your record at the same time. If the offense was a wobbler charge where you were charged with a felony, the court will also likely downgrade the charge to a misdemeanor at this time.
Avoid Probation Violations
Another benefit of getting your probation terminated early is that you will not have to worry about being charged with a probation violation. An arrest for any crime while on probation can result in your probation sentence being converted into a jail or prison term.
You can be incarcerated even if you aren’t convicted of the new crime. There is no jury trial for a probation violation. Instead, a judge simply decides if it is more likely that you committed the offense than not. Early termination of your probation can help protect you from incarceration.
One of the most significant restrictions that probation can place upon your life is restricting your ability to travel freely. This can be particularly difficult if you need to travel for work or you are separated from your family. However, once your probation has been terminated, you will be able to travel freely again.
What does the Court Consider in Early Termination of Probation Motions
Under Penal Code Section 1203.3, early termination of probation is granted on the basis of good conduct and reform from the defendant. This good conduct and reform can be demonstrated by successful completion of the conditions of your probation, including:
- Payment of all fines
- Payment of restitution to any victims
- Completion of any court-ordered courses
- Completion of any court-mandated treatment or counseling
- Completion of community service
- Completion of any other court-ordered action
The court will also consider other factors, such as:
- Avoidance of any probation violations
- The seriousness of the offense for which you were convicted
- Your criminal history
- Whether probation is causing you hardship
- The opinion of the prosecutor’s office
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Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
At the Simmrin Law Group, we have helped countless defendants apply for early termination of their probation under California PC 1203.3. If probation is causing you difficulties, give us a call or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We can review your case and advise you of your legal options.