You might be eligible to end your probation earlier than expected if you have fulfilled the requirements of your probation or if it is significantly interfering with your life or career.
A criminal defense lawyer in California can review the specifics of your case to see whether you might be eligible for an early probation termination. The defense attorneys and Los Angeles DUI lawyers at our firm will be able to evaluate your case for free and determine the best course of action.
What Is Early Termination?
In criminal cases, judges in California have the option to award an early termination of probation. The court may also lessen a conviction from a felony or misdemeanor or even expunge the defendant’s criminal record in situations where probation was terminated early.
Early probation termination is a legal process under California Penal Code § 1203.3. This enables you to end your probation before the court- or prosecutor-negotiated number of months or years have passed. The goal of the law is to reward people who desire to reclaim their lives and who have shown compliance with all current probation requirements.
Early Termination and Expungement
In some counties, this service can be combined with a California expungement (whether it be for a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony). A California expungement attorney often submits a request for early probation termination together with a petition to the court for an expungement (and, in situations of felony wobblers, to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor).
The court will often lower the felony to a misdemeanor and expunge your criminal record simultaneously if it decides to end your probation early.
Who Qualifies for Early Termination of Probation?
A probationer must adhere to all of the probation’s requirements in order to be eligible for early termination. If not, they will meet Section 1203.3(a)‘s “good conduct” criterion. Each person’s probationary requirements are unique.
Normally, you will be eligible for early termination if you have complied with all the conditions of your probation. Judges often will not take early termination into consideration until you have completed at least half of the probationary period. Judges prefer to observe long stretches of law-abiding behavior as proof that rehabilitation was successful.
How Soon Can Someone Request Early Termination?
According to Penal Code 1203.3 PC, courts have the authority to revoke probation “at any time during the term of probation.” Although, it is widely known and more of an unspoken rule that judges will not usually end probation unless you have accomplished a formal probationary period of at least 18 months for felonies or at least one year for misdemeanors.
Obviously, this is only a guiding principle for eligibility. Depending on the judge’s discretion of when “justice has been served,” your circumstances may allow for an earlier termination of probation under PC 1203.3 or necessitate a later one.
How to Terminate Probation Early in California
If you receive a probationary sentence in California, you can be eligible for an early termination. Being eligible for an early probation termination is only half the battle. Additionally, you must persuade the judge that you deserve an early termination based on a number of other grounds at a hearing.
Some of the factors a judge will evaluate to satisfy the requirement of “reform” under Section 1203.39(a) linked above are:
- If there were victims involved
- Past convictions
- Possibility of recidivism
- The seriousness of the crimes committed
- Was it a violent or armed crime
- What hardships have been endured due to probation
Your probation officer could be a key witness in your hearing for early termination. Your chances of receiving an early termination will be more likely if your probation officer appears and states that you have complied with all requirements. The judge will find it more difficult to support continued supervision if your probation officer agrees.
Never discuss legal strategy with your probation officer. Only speak with your defense attorney when thinking about an early termination. Your attorney will provide you with advice on how to continue and prepare you for a greater chance of early termination.
Benefits of Receiving an Early Termination
There are more benefits to receiving early termination than the obvious of not being on probation any longer. It can be a great privilege to receive early termination of probation for the following reasons:
- All probation conditions are lifted
- earlier possibility of expungement and more likely to have a crime expunged after early termination
- Easier to gain employment
- No future travel restriction
- No longer at risk for probation revocation
To address worries about recidivism and probation reform, California approved Assembly Bill 1950 and enacted it in January 2021. The maximum probationary period for many different sorts of offenses was significantly shortened by this regulation. For most offenses, the new maximum probationary periods are two years for most felonies and one year for misdemeanors. However, not all crimes carry the maximum sentences. By law, some continue to serve longer periods.
Early termination of probation may not be as crucial to some persons due to the reduced maximum lengths. However, because the maximum sentences were not reduced for all charges, many probationers, especially for more serious felonies, can considerably benefit from early termination.
Hiring an Attorney to Help with Early Termination of Probation
Our attorneys will be able to help with early termination after being placed on probation for a DUI. We have the resources and experienced team that will know how to handle each case, regardless of the differences.
We can provide you with a better understanding of what early termination probation is and how you might qualify for early probation, even after a recent DUI. Probation laws can be complex and confusing, our legal team is here to help explain the laws and how they apply to your case.
At DUI Los Angeles Attorney.com, we believe that everyone deserves a second (or maybe a third) chance. You can call us day or night to speak with one of our attorneys or complete our online form. We are here for you 24/7, 365 days a year.