If you have satisfied the terms of your probation in California, or if probation is creating substantial problems or difficulties in your life or ability to work, you may be able to get off probation early by filing a motion for early termination. Under California Penal Code 1203.3 PC, judges may grant an early termination of probation under certain circumstances. If the court allows early termination of probation, it will usually expunge your criminal record or reduce the felony to a misdemeanor all at once.
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer may review the circumstances surrounding your case to establish whether you are eligible to request early termination of probation and your likelihood of success. Get in touch with the Aron Law Firm to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in Santa Barbara who may explain your legal rights and options.
How Does a Motion for Early Termination of Probation Work in California?
Penal Code 1203.3 PC is the California law that authorizes the court to revoke, modify, or change an individual's probation sentence at any point during the period of probation. According to this statute, if a judge decides that a defendant has exhibited exemplary conduct and reform, they may end the defendant's probation term early. While this may happen at any time, judges in most cases prefer that defendants complete at least one year of their probation sentence for misdemeanors and at least 18 months for a felony conviction.
When filing a motion for early termination of probation in California, a judge will first ensure that you have met the following standards:
- All terms of your probation sentence have been met: That may involve attending classes, paying all fines, or other sentencing terms.
- You have justifiable reasons to terminate your probation early: Reasons may involve an inability to gain employment or advance in your career as a result of your probation.
Ultimately, the details and facts of your case will determine whether a judge grants your motion for early termination of probation. The best way to learn whether it is a suitable time to file a motion is to discuss your case with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
What Are the Advantages of Terminating My Probation Early?
There are two significant benefits of terminating your probation early, including:
1. You Eliminate Any Potential Probation Violation Charge
If you're arrested while on probation for any crime, you may be sentenced to jail or prison, even if you're acquitted. A probation violation does not grant the right to a jury trial and allows the judge to impose penalties at their discretion. Ending your probation eliminates the risk that you could be charged with a probation violation and face harsh penalties.
2. You May Expunge Your Criminal Record Sooner
One of the advantages of ending your probation early is the possibility of expunging your criminal record. Expungement wipes your record clear of the conviction, which may significantly impact various areas of your life, from renting a home to gaining meaningful employment. Terminating your probation early may alleviate the stress of having a criminal record.
May I Get My Criminal Record Expunged When I Terminate My Probation?
In most instances, a motion for early termination of probation is brought in conjunction with an expungement petition. In California, you are generally eligible to have your criminal record expunged after completing or terminating your probation. Your criminal defense lawyer will usually petition for expungement at the same time they file a motion to terminate your probation. If the judge grants the motion for early termination of probation, they will usually expunge your criminal record simultaneously.
Note some circumstances would deem your criminal record ineligible for expungement. You may not be entitled to expungement if the following conditions apply:
- You are now on probation or serving a sentence for a separate criminal offense
- You are presently being charged with a separate criminal offense
The Aron Law Firm's criminal defense and expungement lawyers have worked extensively with courts in the City of Santa Barbara. Fortunately, judges have demonstrated a willingness to support previously convicted individuals striving for a fresh start in life. Get in touch with our skilled Santa Barbara expungement attorneys for trusted advice regarding this complex legal procedure.
Consult Santa Barbara's Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
If your career, family or personal life is negatively affected due to the restrictions of being on probation, you may be eligible to terminate your probation early. The Aron Law Firm's talented Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyers may guide you through the process of ending your probation and getting your case expunged. Our knowledgeable legal team is committed to providing thoughtful and strategic representation to protect our clients' freedoms so that they may move forward in their lives in a positive direction. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your situation, schedule a confidential case review at our Santa Barbara office by calling 805-618-1768 or completing a contact form.