Pursuant to Penal Code 1203.3 The court has the authority to change and/or terminate its order of probation. As such, many of our clients wish to terminate their probationary period early. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the court is often willing to terminate your probation early. The key is usually to file your motion at the proper time and to understand the factors the court will be considered in reviewing your motion.
In many cases, the court will grant your early termination of probation, and your expungement at the same time.
To qualify for an early termination of probation, you must have completed all court-ordered conditions of your probation, aside from the remainder of the required length. In other words, you must have paid all fines and completed any classes or community service ordered by the court.
Additionally, you must be able to show a legitimate reason as to why the court should terminate your probation early. For example, many of our clients have difficulties finding jobs or advancing their careers, because of their probationary period. These can be great reasons to request an early termination of probation. Because these cases are very fact specific, it is important that your attorney takes the time to understand your situation.
The court has a great deal of discretion in deciding how early your probationary period can be terminated. That being said, we have found that in most cases, judges in San Diego will not grant an early termination of probation until you have served at least half of your term. Therefore, it is always best to consult with one of our attorneys who can help you determine the proper time to file your motion.
HOW TO FILE YOUR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION?
The first step is for your attorney to file a motion with the court. The motion must be filed in the court that heard the underlying case. Once it is filed, it must then be served on the prosecuting agency (either the district attorney or city attorney), so they can review it, and determine if they will object to the motion. When the motion is filed, a hearing date will be set. It will typically take a few weeks before the court has time to hear your case. This is why it is important that you make your attorney aware of any deadlines you are trying to make. While your attorney can complete the necessary paperwork quickly, there is only so much that can be done to expedite your hearing date.
Before the hearing, your attorney will be in contact with the prosecutor to begin discussing your case. This will allow the prosecutor to have a better understanding as to why you are a good candidate for early termination of probation. If your motion is not opposed by the prosecution, the judge will be far less likely to deny it at the hearing. In most cases, depending on the severity of your offense, your attorney will be able to appear at the hearing on your behalf, and you will not be required to attend. Your attorney will be able to tell whether or not being present will be helpful in your case.
THE BENEFITS OF EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY
The most compelling reason to have your probationary period terminated early, is that doing so will allow you to have your conviction expunged much quicker. Once your conviction is expunged, it cannot be used against you on most background checks, and job applications.
Additionally, once you are off probation, you no longer have to deal with the possibility of violating. Even a violation of informal probation for a misdemeanor offense can result in serious consequences for you. Technically, a probation violation opens you up to the maximum sentence for the underlying crime.
In some cases, terminating your probation early may also allow you to stop registering as a sex offender, or allow you to restore your gun rights.
WHEN IS THE PROPER TIME TO FILE YOUR REQUEST FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY?
Truthfully, the best time to request an early termination of probation is as soon as possible. It is important to understand that every county and every judge is different. For this reason, it is important to have an attorney that is familiar not only with the expungement process but with the expungement process in the specific courtroom your case will be heard. Our attorneys will know the proper time to file for your specific case.
Under PC 1203.3, you can technically file your motion for early termination of probation any time after probation is sentenced. However, to give yourself the best chance at having it granted, expect to serve at least half of the probationary period prior to filing. However, keep in mind that this is a general rule, and each case must be considered individually.
WHAT WILL THE COURT LOOK AT IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT TO GRANT YOUR MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY?
Pursuant to PC 1203.3, your probation may be terminated early if your “good conduct and reform” justify doing so. Essentially, this means that if the court is convinced that you have taken responsibility for your mistake, learned from it, and have made positive changes to your behavior. Generally, things the court will make sure you have completed include:
- Completion of any classes ordered by the court;
- Payment of any fee and fines;
- Payment of any victim restitution;
- Completion of any counseling or therapy ordered by the court;
- Completion of any community service ordered by the court.
Once the court has determined you have completed all of these conditions, it will also want to ensure that you have remained out of trouble since your conviction. In other words, the court will look into whether you have any subsequent open cases. Additionally, the court will consider”
- The severity of your underlying offense,
- Whether the prosecution objected to your motion, and their reason for doing so;
- Your criminal history;
- Whether or not being on probation is causing you any detriment.
TWO KINDS OF PROBATION
In the state of California, there are two distinct types of probation. These are commonly referred to as informal probation and formal probation. Typically, misdemeanor offenses result in informal probation (also referred to as summary probation), and felony offenses result in formal probation.
In San Diego County, formal probation usually lasts for either three or five years. As the name suggests, formal probation is a bit more intensive than informal probation. For example, formal probation requires the defendant to make regular check-ins with their probation officer. In many cases, they must also submit to regular drug/alcohol. If the defendant violates formal probation, they may be taken into custody for up to the maximum sentence for their underlying offense. For a felony conviction, this could be years in state prison. In some cases, formal probation can be modified to informal probation during the probationary period.
On the other hand, informal probation is a bit laxer. Usually, the main condition of informal probation is simply that the defendant not violate any laws during the probationary period. There are no required check-ins, drug tests, or even an assigned probation officer. Like formal probation, informal probation is usually sentenced to a period of three of five years.
Each type of probation can be terminated early. However, it is important to discuss with your attorney the proper time to file for early termination. If you file too early the court may not grant it. Likewise, you will want to make sure that you have completed all other terms of your probation, such as classes and fines.
WILL THE COUNTY GRANT MY EXPUNGEMENT AND EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION AT THE SAME TIME?
More often than not, yes. Assuming you meet the qualifications for each, the court can grant both at the same time.
It is always best to consult with an experienced expungement attorney, as time is almost always a factor in expungement cases. Filing various motions jointly can save significant time, and drastically reduce the amount of time required. Doing so can make the difference in meeting strict deadlines with regard to job applications and background checks.
If you or someone you know has a criminal record that is holding them back, do not hesitate to contact our office. We will provide you a completely free evaluation to determine whether you are eligible for an expungement. If you aren’t, we may still be able to assist you in other ways. You may be eligible to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor, or to have your probation terminated early. Even if you were not convicted, we can assist you in sealing your arrest record.
EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION & REDUCING A FELONY CONVICTION TO A MISDEMEANOR CONVICTION UNDER PC 17(B)
If you were convicted of a felony, you may be able to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor, at the same time that you file your motion for early termination of probation.
EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION BENEFITS
There are countless benefits to terminating your probationary period early. For one, you no longer have to follow the terms of your probation. As such, you can no longer be hit with a probation violation for failing to comply. Often times, a violation can result in more severe consequences than your original sentence. Additionally, you will no longer have to report to your probation officer or take court-ordered drug tests.
Another huge benefit, it that you will become eligible to have your case expunged. In San Diego County, one of the most commonly committed crimes is a DUI. A DUI will usually result in 5 years of informal probation. This means you cannot get the conviction dismissed from your record for half of a decade. However, terminating your probation early will allow you to have your conviction expunged in nearly half the time. Once your case is expunged, you can truthfully state on a job application that you were not convicted of the crime.
SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION?
A Motion for Early Termination of Probation can be very complex. Hiring an experienced attorney who regularly handles these types of matters can greatly increase your chances of success. Our firm has handled countless record clearing cases throughout San Diego County. We are well aware of what the court will be looking for, and what it will take to get your motion granted. In many cases, the prosecution will object to your motion, and a full hearing will occur in front of the judge. You will want an attorney who is readily familiar with the specific procedures of the courtroom your case will be heard in. In looking for an attorney, it is important to hire a firm who is experienced handling record clearing cases in the specific court that heard your case.
Don’t continue to unnecessarily live your life on probation. You may be eligible to have your probation terminated, and your case expunged. No more drug tests, or checking in with your probation officer. Instead, you could have a clean record and a fresh start. Contact the Record Expungement Attorney Law Firm today at 619-577-4081 to put your past behind you.
IF YOU ARE SERVING PROBATION FOR A PRIOR CONVICTION, CONTACT THE SAN DIEGO RECORD EXPUNGEMENT ATTORNEY LAW FIRM TODAY. OUR ATTORNEYS WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A FREE CONSULTATION AND MAY BE ABLE TO TERMINATION YOUR PROBATION EARLY, AND EXPUNGE YOUR RECORD AT THE SAME TIME. CALL 619-577-4081 TODAY.
FAIR FLAT RATE RETAINER FEES
Our firm will not let money stand in the way of clearing your record. We are committed to doing everything in our power to provide great representation at competitive and affordable prices. Once we have evaluated your case, we will provide you with a flat rate fee to handle the entirety of your case.