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Can you have a felony and be on informal probation?

Fremont, CA |

I was charged with a commercial burglary a few years ago.I did some jail time and was put on informal probation.I figured it was a felony,but people online were telling me its not possible with informal probation.I live in CA so not sure if the laws are different.Is this true?

Thanks for everyone's help!

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    Yes, it is possible to be on informal probation even if you plead to a felony charge. Normally, formal probation is given on felony cases, but not always. You should contact the attorney that represented you to find out. You can also call the court and get the information from the clerk.


  2. It is possible to be on informal, unsupervised probation, even if your underlying charge is a felony. Lots of counties these days are not able to supervise all felony probationers, so they are placing people on informal probation if their felony isn't serious or violent (like a commercial burglary). Check with the court you were convicted in to find out if your conviction was for a felony or a misdemeanor.


  3. It would be unusual to be convicted of a felony, but then placed on informal probation. Commercial burglary is a crime that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Sometimes, you are initially charged with a felony, but as part of your plea bargain, the charge is reduced to a misdemeanor. You should be able to get this information by calling the court or the lawyer who represented you. Good luck to you.


  4. I cannot find the legal authority right now, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Technically, a felony conviction that is only sentenced to informal probation makes the felony conviction invalid (automatically becomes misdemeanor).

    Therefore you were only sentenced to a misdemeanor.

    Some things to know:

    If you pled or were convicted of felony, you still lost your gun rights.

    You can find out what court thinks it is by checking court records.

    By informal probation, you mean you did not have a probation officer assigned to you, ever, right? Any time with PO was formal probation.

    And my colleagues are all right, in that on a practical level, lots of felons end up with no probation supervision. Still, it would be cool if you had a technical misdemeanor through court error. Certainly would make getting a notation of dismissal of the case easier (for record clearance and better answers during job interviews).

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