Early Termination of Probation
The power of reduction
Your probation can end early
As a result of a criminal conviction, a court may sentence you to probation over confinement. While this is obviously ideal, the results remain the same: a criminal conviction is holding you back. Probation does not make the consequences of a criminal conviction any easier. An individual is still shadowed by the stigma of being a “convict” and has a more difficult time going on with life, such as obtaining employment or housing. Thankfully, in California, you can terminate your probation early, even if you have not completed the amount of time you were ordered to be on probation.
The California Legislature has given courts the authority to terminate probation early. The purpose of this statute is intended to afford the petitioner an opportunity to demonstrate their rehabilitation so they can move forward in life and not be held back by a criminal conviction. This is a discretionary form of relief which means it is not automatic. A court will grant an early termination of probation motion “at any time when the ends of justice” are met, and “when the good conduct and reform of the person” warrants such relief. In other words (and like other post conviction remedies), the court is looking to determine whether you have been rehabilitated since the pronouncement of judgment. Although the court has the power to grant relief “at any time,” a court is more likely to grant a motion to terminate probation early when the petitioner has served a substantial portion of their probation sentence. This is because the more time a petitioner is on probation, the more likely the rehabilitative effects of probation are working to reform the petitioner.
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People Placed On Probation in 2020 in California*
Were Placed On Felony Probation
Were Placed On Misdemeanor Probation
Other Early Probation Factors
Although the court has the power to grant relief “at any time,” a court is more likely to grant a motion to terminate probation early when the petitioner has served a substantial portion of their probation sentence. This is because the more time a petitioner is on probation, the more likely the rehabilitative effects of probation are working to reform the petitioner.
Rehabilitation, however, is only one factor. If it was the sole factor, California courts would be flooded with motions to terminate probation early. The other factor is whether the petitioner has a convincing reason to be terminated from probation. Reasons such as adverse immigration consequences, wanting to enlist in the military, or hardships because of the conviction, can compel a court to grant relief. The reason should move the court to conclude that the “ends of justice” would be met if they terminated the probation early. Reasons that are not material to that determination will lead to a swift denial. Of course, each person’s circumstances are different, but depending on your circumstance, you may be eligible to terminate your probation early.
Example #1: Johnny was born into a family of doctors and always dreamed of becoming a doctor. Johnny unfortunately was convicted of a felony and was placed on two years of probation. Johnny performed extraordinarily well on probation, paying all his fines and completing all court ordered classes. Johnny has 3 months left of his probation term. The deadline for medical school is approaching. If Johnny does not meet the deadline, he will have to wait an entire year before applying. Johnny has a compelling reason to terminate his probation early, as well as a demonstrated rehabilitation.
Example #2: Johnny was convicted of a felony and given two years probation. This was Johnny’s first criminal offense. Johnny performed extraordinarily well on probation, paying all his fines and completing all court ordered classes within the first 6 months. Johnny files a motion to terminate his probation early. Johnny has no compelling reason to terminate his probation early other than just wanting to. The court may not be inclined to grant Johnny’s motion as Johnny hasn’t served at least a year of his probation, despite his remarkable efforts on probation.
Like a criminal conviction, a term of probation can have an adverse impact on your life and set you back. Don’t wait any longer. Let Go Legal can help you terminate your probation early so you can move forward in life. Moreover, at Let Go Legal, we will simultaneously file with your motion to terminate probation early a motion to expunge (and reduce, if necessary) your conviction at no additional cost.