Early Termination of Probation in California
Early termination of probation in California is possible. California Penal
Code section 1203.3 gives judges the option of terminating probation under
certain conditions. The judge has sole discretion to terminate probation.
That is where we come in. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at
Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners have successfully assisted many defendants
in terminating probation early when certain qualifications have been met.
Not all defendants are eligible. We screen those clients wishing to complete
that process and only select those whom we think will be successful. We
research and prepare the probation options and put together a package
of information that ultimately puts our clients in a favorable light,
making it easier for a judge to terminate probation.
Basis for Early Termination of Probation
It is up to the judges' discretion to terminate probation prior to
the expiration of probation. Judges are looking for conditions that justify
early termination. Most judges will not consider early termination unless
the defendant has completed at least half of their probation. The judge
considers various factors in deciding whether to terminate probation early,
- Successful completion of the terms of probation (e.g., classes, community
service, court fines, costs of probation, counseling, restitution)
- Passing all drug tests during probation
- The defendant's overall criminal record
- The underlying crime that led to the conviction
- Any obstacles to gainful employment due to probation
- Any travel restrictions placed on the defendant due to probation
- Any new arrests or charges while on probation
- The percentage of probation time completed (the more time the better)
Our attorneys will guide you in collecting material that will help the
judge make a determination in your favor, for example:
- Letters of recommendation; proof the terms of probation have been satisfied;
- Information about the underlying offense and proof of your good behavior;
- A letter from your felony probation officer or a probation report;
- A letter from the licensing board showing the upcoming license renewal.
Often, the prosecutor's opinion about early termination of probation
is considered, therefore it is important to have a skilled criminal defense
attorney interact with and convince the prosecutor that early termination
is in the best interest of justice.
If the court is unwilling to completely terminate probation, a modification
of the probation terms is possible. The court may be willing to modify
the payment terms of court fines or reduce the total amount owed. Fines
or Cal Trans may be converted to community service or travel limitations
may be lifted. Although a judge rarely terminates restitution (the money
that the defendant must pay to the victim of the crime), he or she may
agree to modify the payment schedule.
At Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners, we also petition the court for
an expungement of the conviction, along with the petition to terminate
probation. Most misdemeanors and some felonies qualify for expungement.
We may also get your felony (if it was a wobbler) reduced to a misdemeanor
and then expunge it.
Los Angeles Probation Termination Attorney
For either a modification or early termination of probation to be granted,
the defendant must show good behavior and reform. A successful early probation
termination depends on obtaining and presenting all of the relevant information
before the judge in a concise, organized manner that puts the defendant
in the best light possible. Many judges do not favor requests for early
termination of probation because they believe it is improper for a defendant
to request the court to alter an agreement or plea previously entered
into by the defendant. If you are on probation and want to put your criminal
conviction behind you and move on with your life, it is important to speak
with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact one of the Los
Angeles criminal defense attorneys at our firm for a confidential consultation.
We will address your concerns and evaluate the likelihood of obtaining
an early termination of probation.