This guide explains how a person can get terminated from their probation early.
Probation and Early Termination
As part of serving a sentence, probation, whether formal or informal, is a common occurrence when a defendant is convicted of a crime. Probation itself is a court order that indicates that a convicted defendant may remain in their respective community, and out of jail, as long as they follow certain instructions dictated by the sentencing judge. While probation conditions vary depending on the type and severity of the crime committed, a probationary officer is responsible for checking up on the defendant and ensuring that the defendant is in fact adhering to their probationary terms. More often than not, however, probationary conditions substantially limit one*s individual freedom to go about their daily life and put a burden on defendants who are constantly afraid of surprise checkups from their probationary officers. As such, it is in the best interest of defendants to shorten or abolish the length of their probation by getting an early termination of the sentence. An early termination of probation is when a judge grants a motion from defense counsel to shorten, reduce, or end entirely, the current probationary terms a defendant has been sentenced to. Therefore, if the motion is granted, the defendant will have secured a shorter probationary sentence and be closer to maximizing their freedom from their former conviction.
Who Can Get Early Termination of Probation
Unfortunately, judges do not grant early terminations of probation without amicable cause for doing so. Often, defendants must present specific reasons or examples as to why they believe their sentence should be eliminated completely to earn remedy which they seek. Such reasons or examples include, but are not limited to probation preventing:
* The defendant from engaging in necessary travel
* The defendant from securing stable employment
* The defendant from obtaining a professional license
* The defendant from earning a promotion or advancement at an already established job
In addition to needing a valid reason as to why a defendant*s probation should be shortened, in order to increase the likelihood the judge grants the decrease in probation length, a substantial amount of time on probation must have already been served. Simply put, a judge will likely not grant an elimination of probation after only one month of probation has been served. It is best to have served several months of probation, completed all restitution, classes required, and any other completable conditions of probation, before attempting to file a motion with a defense attorney to secure the early termination of probation.
How to Get Early Termination of Probation
Persuading a judge to grant an early termination of probation is no easy task, however, according to California Penal Code * 1203.3 (a) *The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of probation, and discharge the person so held.* So while the thought of convincing a judge to grant an early probationary sentence may appear daunting, the remedy does exist. Nevertheless, it is still paramount for a defendant to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to deal with the judge and opposing prosecutor relating to their case. Once assigned to your case, a defense attorney will draft a motion at least two days prior to the hearing on a defendant*s early termination of probation. In this motion, the criminal defense attorney will indicate why their client*s early termination of probation is in the best interests of justice and as such, should be granted. After the motion is drafted, the defense attorney will meet with the prosecutor and judge at the early termination hearing to fight for their defendant to earn them an early removal of their probation.
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