Early Termination of Probation in San Diego
Imagine that at sentencing the court places you on probation, now you are trying to successfully complete your probationary period but the terms set out for your probation begin interfering significantly with your employment opportunities. Maybe you are unable to travel to and from work, you are prevented from receiving a promotion at work, or perhaps you cannot obtain lawful employment to begin with. If you are on probation, this means that you have accepted responsibility for your actions and should be allowed to turn your life around. What do you do if abiding by the court’s probation terms is costing you your livelihood? You have only have one avenue to try, hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can file a motion for early termination of probation and request a hearing on the matter. At Monder Law Group, our firm knows exactly what evidence is necessary to convince the court that you are a good candidate for early termination of probation.
What is probation?
Probation is a sentencing alternative to confinement, that allows the court to suspend your sentence as long as you agree to adhere to all the probationary terms ordered by the court. Your conditional release will require you to successfully complete these terms under the supervision of either the court or probation services. Generally, the court may order a probationary period of anywhere from one to five years. It is important to point out that the terms of your probation remain in effect for the entire duration unless probation is terminated early by the court.
What are terms of probation?
Terms of probation are the specific conditions the court will impose during your probationary period for your conditional release. Some of the most common terms of probation require you to agree to the following:
- Abide by the Law
- Adhere to Protective Orders
- Appear at Court Hearings
- Complete Court Ordered Community Service
- Not to Travel Outside of California
- Obtain and maintain employment
- Pay Court Fines
- Pay Restitution to the Victim
- Report to Probation Services
- Submit to Periodic Drug Testing
- Successful Completion of Court Ordered Counseling
- Successful Completion of Court Ordered Classes
- Summary vs. Formal Probation
Probation is a sentencing alternative that the court may choose to impose in lieu of confinement. There are two different types of probation that the court may apply, summary and formal probation. Which type of probation the court will apply depends on the severity of the offense that a defendant is convicted of. If a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor, at sentencing the court may choose to order summary probation. On the other hand, if the offense is more severe and the defendant is convicted of a felony, at sentencing the court may choose to order formal probation. Both summary and formal probation may be eligible for early termination.
What is summary probation?
Summary probation is considered an informal form of probation because the court does not mandate supervision of the probationer by probation services. This means that under summary probation, you will not be required to regularly report to a probation officer. Instead, it will be the court that will regulate your probationary terms and enforce them. You will be required to appear in court periodically to report on the progress of your probation. Summary probation is a sentencing option available for misdemeanor offenses that can last anywhere between one and three years.
What is formal probation?
Formal probation is considered a stricter form of probation because the court will mandate supervision of the probationer by probation services. This means that under formal probation, you will be required to report once a month to your probation officer. Probation services will monitor your rehabilitation during the entire term of your probationary period. Formal probation is a sentencing option available for felony offenses that can last anywhere between three and five years.
What is a Fourth Amendment Waiver?
The fourth amendment of the U.S. constitution establishes “the right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by an oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.” In the criminal justice system, the fourth amendment is limited for convicted felons who are out on probation. This is because probationers are required to sign a temporary Fourth Amendment Waiver as a condition of their release. Effectively you waive your reasonable expectation of privacy and consent to warrantless searches and seizures by the government. This means that law enforcement agencies are allowed to search and seize your person, your home, your vehicle and your personal effects. It is very important that you understand that the Fourth Amendment Waiver remains valid until the court terminates your probationary period, at which time your fourth amendment right to privacy resumes.
Understanding Penal Code Section 1203.3
In San Diego early termination of probation is governed by Penal Code Section 1203.3, the law states that “the court shall have authority at any time during the term of probation to revoke, modify, or change its order of suspension of imposition or execution of sentence when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and when the good conduct and reform of the person on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of probation, and discharge the person so held.” This means that the court has complete discretion to regulate your conduct while on probation and to decide whether you are eligible for early termination of your probationary period. In order to make this determination, the court will look at the reason why you are requesting early termination of probation, your criminal history, your compliance with the terms of probation, the severity of your conduct at the time of the offense, and whether you have reformed your conduct.
Who is eligible for early termination of probation?
For a probationer to qualify for early termination of probation, you must have completed at least half of the probationary sentence ordered by the court and have complied with all of the conditions of probation.
Who is not eligible for early termination of probation?
Probationers who have not served at least half of their probationary sentence, who have pending misdemeanor or felony charges against them, who are serving a sentence for another offense, or are currently on probation for another offense.
What does a motion for early termination of probation consist of?
A motion for early termination of probation consists of the following four documents:
- Notice of Motion;
- Declaration in Support of Motion;
- Points and Authorities in Support of Motion; and
- Court Order.
What role does the prosecution play in an early termination of probation hearing?
The prosecution must receive a two day written notice of the hearing for early termination of probation and will have the opportunity to respond to the motion. The prosecution may oppose early termination of probation but ultimately, it is at the court’s discretion whether or not to grant early termination of your probationary period.
Implications of Early Termination of Probation on Expungements
Termination of probation is a requirement for an expungement. An expungement is a procedure in which a defendant may petition the court to withdraw his or her guilty plea and have the case dismissed. If your petition for early termination of probation is granted, you will be eligible to expunge your criminal record. This means that the conviction will either be dismissed or set aside and no longer show up on your criminal history. Having the court seal your criminal conviction record from the criminal justice system means that prospective employers will not have access to your criminal record and you no longer have to disclose information about your conviction for employment purposes.
Early Termination of Probation Criminal Lawyer in San Diego
Petitioning the court for an early termination of probation is a complex process, the experience of a criminal defense attorney is invaluable to the success of your request. Before you can even file a motion for early termination of probation, you need to make sure that you can show the court that all probation terms have been successfully completed. Next, based on the severity of your conduct during the offense, you will also need to be able to demonstrate to the court that your conduct has been reformed during the probationary term. Lastly, you will need to provide the court with legal justifications that merit the early termination of your probationary term. Do not risk your opportunity of terminating probation early, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to draft, file, and argue the motion at your hearing. Whether you are seeking employment, needing to process an expungement, wanting to apply for a promotion at work or you are simply ready to put your probationary term behind you and start living your life again, at Monder Law Group we understand the urgency of these petitions! Contact San Diego criminal defense attorney Vik Monder, so he may put his extensive knowledge of early termination of probation petitions to work for you, call now at (619)405-0063.