EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION – CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE 1203.3

Pursuant to Penal Code 1203.3 “The court has authority to terminate, amend, or change its order of suspension of imposition or execution of sentence. The court is permitted, when the reform and good conduct of the person so held on probation warrants it, terminate the period of probation, and discharge the person so held.”

Often times, the court can grant an early termination of probation, and an expungement at the same time. 

In order to be eligible for an early termination of probation, the court will ensure that you have completed all conditions of your probation other than the required length.  For example, you must have paid all court ordered fines and restitution.  Additionally, you must have completed all court ordered calluses, and community service. 

In addition to completing the court’s requirements, you must also show a valid reason as to why your probation should be terminated early.  For example, that your probationary status is making it impossible to advance your career, or find a job. 

The Judge will have wide discretion in determining how early your probation can be terminated.  However, most Judges will want to see you serve at least half of your probationary period before terminating it.  As such, it is extremely important to consult with one of our attorneys who can help advise you as to the proper time to file.  

HOW TO FILE FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION

The first step in the process is to file a motion with the court.  The motion must then be served upon the prosecuting agency with sufficient time for them to object and prepare for the hearing.

Prior to the hearing, your attorney will contact the prosecutor to discuss your case.  This will allow the prosecution to have an idea as to why you would be a good candidate for early termination, even before your hearing date.  If the prosecution does not oppose your motion, that can go a long way in the Judge’s decision.  In most cases, your attorney will be able to appear on your behalf, and you will not need to be present at the hearing.  Your attorney will be able to advise you as to whether or not it will help your case for you to be present at the Hearing.  

THE BENEFITS OF AN EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION IN ORANGE COUNTY

The main benefit of the early termination of probation is that once it is granted, you will be eligible to have your conviction expunged.  Once the conviction is expunged, it cannot be held against you by potential employers, or on most background checks. 

Depending on the circumstances of your case, your early termination of probation can also provide you with additional relief.  Once your probation has been terminated, you are no longer susceptible to potential probation violations.  even informal probation, for a misdemeanor offense, can result in serious consequences.  Technically, you can be punished to the maximum sentence of the underlying offense for a probation violation.  Additionally, an early termination of probation may allow you to restore your gun rights, or to stop registering as a sex offender.   

THE RIGHT TIME TO REQUEST AN EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION IN ORANGE COUNTY

Every county, and even every Judge, is different. When filing for an early termination of probation, it is important that your attorney is familiar with the procedures in the specific court that you will be filing your motion.  An experienced attorney will know when to file for your specific case. 

Pursuant to the statute, a motion for early termination of probation can technically be filed at any time, once probation in sentenced.  However, most Judges will not actually consider granting your motion until you have served at least half of your probationary period.  Keep in mind that this is a general rule, and it is best to discuss with your attorney when your motion should be filed. 

WHAT DOES THE COURT CONSIDER IN DECIDING WHETHER OR NOT TO GRANT A MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION IN ORANGE 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:

  • Payment of all court ordered fines,
  • Completion of all court ordered classes,
  • Payment of all restitution to any victims,
  • Completion of all court ordered community service,
  • Completion of any court ordered therapy or counseling.

Additionally, the court will want to ensure that you have remained out of trouble since the underlying offense.  In other words, that you do not have any subsequent criminal cases.  The Judge will likely also consider the following factors:

  • The seriousness of your underlying offense,
  • Your prior criminal record,
  • Whether or not the prosecution has objected, and their reason for doing so,
  • Whether your probationary status is causing you any detriment.

TYPES OF PROBATION

Generally, there are two types of Probation: Formal Probation and Informal Probation.  For the most part, a felony conviction will result in formal probation, while a misdemeanor conviction will result in informal probation.  However, this is not always the case, as many cases are resolved through negotiated plea bargains.

Formal probation will commonly last either three or five years in Orange County.  Formal probation requires the defendant to report to a probation officer, and often requires them to attend classes and/or take regular drug tests.  Violating formal probation can result in defendant being taken into custody.  If an Early Termination of Probation is not granted in a formal probation case, the court may consider modifying the probation to informal probation. 

Informal probation, also referred to as summary probation, is most commonly granted for three year periods in Orange County. Informal Probation has far fewer requirements than formal, and does not even require the defendant to check in with any probation officer.  Generally, the main condition is just that the defendant remain law abiding for the probationary period.

Both formal and informal probation can be terminated early.  It is important to discuss your case with one of our attorneys to determine the right time you file for early termination of probation. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.

CAN MY EXPUNGEMENT BE GRANTED AT THE SAME TIME AS MY MOTION FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION?

In most cases, yes, your expungement can be filed jointly with your motion for early termination of probation.  If your motion for early termination of probation is granted, your expungement will often be granted at the same time.  

You may have read that your conviction cannot be expunged while you are on probation for the underlying offense.  While this statement is technically true, it can be misleading as well.  This is because the court can decide to end your probationary period early at the same time as granting your expungement.  In most cases, this is all done during the same court hearing. 

To qualify for both an Early Termination of Probation, and an Expungement, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your case is a California State case, as opposed to a Federal case;
  • You are currently on probation. As a general rule, it is best that you have completed a minimum of half of your probationary period prior you asking the court to terminate it early;
  • You must have completed all other terms of your probation. For example: paid all fines, completed all classes, etc.;
  • You are not currently facing another open criminal case, or serving probation for another offense.

The court will consider the following factors in making its determination on your case:

  • The severity of your conduct, and the crime you were convicted of;
  • Your prior criminal record (The cleaner the better);
  • Whether or not your probationary status is causing you a hardship. For example, difficulty finding a job, etc.;

Because record clearing cases require a lot of personal information, and the specific situation of the client, it is essential to have an attorney who takes the time to understand your case. 

Typically, an Early Termination of Probation case will take somewhere between 6-12 weeks.  The sooner your attorney can begin drafting the necessary paperwork, the sooner your hearing will be scheduled with the court.  Our attorneys will handle all aspects of your case, from start to finish, including attending the hearing on your behalf.  In nearly all of our cases, you will not be required to appear in court.  Many of our clients become nervous about the upcoming hearing.  However, with the Record Expungement Attorney Law Firm, you won’t have to worry about any scary court hearings, or having to talk in front of the judge.     

COMPETETIVE FLAT RATE FEES

At the Record Expungement Attorney Law Firm, we will not let the fee stand in the way of representing you.  Our goal is to provide the best available representation at prices that are affordable to our clients.  After your free case evaluation with one of our attorneys, we will provide you with a flat rate fee to handle your case from start to finish. 

THE BENEFITS OF AN EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION AND EXPUNGEMENT

As noted above, there are many benefits to an Early Termination of Probation.  The most obvious being that you no longer have to adhere to the terms of your probation.  This eliminates the possibility of being hit with a probation violation.  In many cases, a probation violation can be more severe than the underlying crime itself. 

In addition to simply being alleviated from the terms of your probation, an Early Termination of Probation also allows your conviction to be eligible for expungement.  An expungement under Penal Code 1203.4 comes with a number of additional benefits. 

For example, it removes the criminal conviction from your record.  Rather than stating you were convicted, your record will indicate that the case was dismissed.  Additionally, your expunged conviction will not be revealed on nearly all background checks.  An expungement will even allow you to legally state that you were not convicted on a job application.  This can drastically increase your employment opportunities, and your chances of obtaining various professional licenses.   

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR AN EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION?

Filing a PC 1203.3 Motion for Early Termination of Probation can be fairly complex.  To give yourself the best chance of success, you will want an experienced attorney to handle your case.  Our firm has handled countless 1203.3 Motions, and we know what it takes to get them granted.  Keep in mind, it is not uncommon for the prosecution to object to your motion.  When this happens, an oral argument must be made in court, as to why your motion should be granted.  These Hearing require familiarity with the specific courtroom, and Judge’s procedures.  

As such, it's important to have, not only an attorney representing you, but specifically to have an attorney experienced in record clearing cases.  Our firm handles only record clearing cases, and is fully equipped to handle your case from start to finish.  

CONTACT THE RECORD EXPUNGEMENT ATTORNEY LAW FIRM TODAY AT 714-627-5727.

Stop letting your probationary status prevent you from accomplishing your goals.  Ignore the misconception that your conviction cannot be expunged while you are still on probation.  Terminate your probation early so that you can get on with your life.  One of our attorneys is standing by to evaluate your case at no cost.  Call today to schedule your free private consultation.

At the Record Expungement Attorney Law Firm, we will draft all of the necessary paperwork, file it with the court, serve it upon the prosecuting agency, and represent you at the court hearing, all for one competitive flat rate fee.  Don’t spend another day letting your conviction record hold you back.  Call us today at 714-627-5727, to put your past behind you, and move on with a clear record. 

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