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Early Termination of Probation

Learn More About Early Termination of Probation in California

Gavel - how to get your probation terminated early

Penal Code 1203.3 PC gives the court the discretion to grant a request for early termination of probation at any time during the probation period. In practice, most judges want to see people complete at least 12 to 18 months of their probation before they will seriously consider the motion to terminate probation early.

If the judge grants an early termination of probation, the court will often expunge the defendant's criminal record. And in felony wobbler cases, the judge may also reduce the felony to a misdemeanor at the same time.

Before terminating your probation early, the judge will want to ensure that:

  • You have successfully completed the terms of your probation (such as fines, classes or restitution),
  • There are circumstances that justify early termination of probation.

Valid reasons may include (but are not limited to) the fact that your probation is

  • keeping you from securing gainful employment,
  • preventing you from advancing at work, or
  • restricting necessary travel.

Learn more about if you are eligible for early termination of your probation by contacting us today.


Understanding the Termination Process

Typically, courts sentence people to a specific term of surveillance. If you meet all of the terms that the court has set for you, it is finished at the end of the specified time period. People usually are not given shortened sentences for good behavior. Even if you behave well and have a great relationship with your PO, it simply is not within his or her control.

Petitioning Courts to Terminate Probation

The first step to getting your freedom back is to behave well and follow the terms laid out by the courts. You have a higher chance of success if you do more than the bare minimum and show yourself as an exemplary citizen in a variety of ways. In addition, you should document the costs and other inconveniences that are imposed on your life through your ongoing supervision. In general, the steps to petition courts successfully are as follows:

  • Serve at least half of your assigned time
  • File paperwork asking for a special hearing
  • Develop a convincing argument that you are truly so exceptional that you deserve special treatment
  • Make your case to the court

An experienced criminal defense lawyer is essential to this process. They know what arguments the court will find more convincing and other ways to build your case.

Other Options for Getting Your Life Back

Unfortunately, most people who attempt this process alone are denied. Courts do not want to place anyone in an impossible situation. However, they are reluctant to change a sentence once it has been passed, even for someone who has had consistently good behavior. Getting an experienced attorney is the first step to terminating your probationary period early.

To find out if you are eligible for early termination of your probation, contact our San Bernardino post-conviction relief attorney at the firm today! Your initial consultation is free.