Probation Modification and Termination (Penal Code section 1203.3)

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If you are serving a probationary sentence and have complied with all of your probation terms, your Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney may be able to help you modify the terms of your probation or terminate your probation before the end of your probationary term. We understand that being under court-mandated supervision is an incredible burden on your freedom, and we are here to help.  Read on to find out more about the qualifications for probation modification or termination and how it can help you release this burden.

When You Can Ask for a Probation Modification

Under California Penal Code section 1203.3(a)[i], the court has authority to revoke, modify, or terminate your probation at any time during the term of the probation. This means that you can request that the court modify your probation at any time while you are serving your probation and the judge has authority to grant your probation modification.

However, some conditions apply to the probation modification. First, a hearing must be held in court in front of a judge before any sentence, term, or condition of probation can be modified. The court must give the prosecutor a two-day written notice before the hearing and an opportunity to argue against your probation modification request. If your case involved domestic violence, then the court must give the prosecutor five-day written notice before the hearing.

In addition, the judge must state the reasons for probation modification. Common reasons that a judge may use to justify a probation modification include:

  • Your good conduct while on probation, or
  • The judge believes that you are reformed and ready to become a productive member of society.

The judge must also give written notice to your probation officer before modifying your probation, if you have one assigned to your case.

Probation Modification Terms

Probation Modification Terms
Probationary terms and conditions can often be a burden. Call us for help on probation modification.

For example, if the requirement to check-in with your probation officer on a weekly basis becomes a burden on your job, the court may decide to grant a probation modification such that they may change the date of your check-in or the frequency of your required check-ins.

If you are required to pay restitution, the court cannot modify the dollar amount that you are required to pay merely because of your good conduct and reform while on probation, unless there are compelling and extraordinary reasons to do so. Also, the court cannot limit the enforcement of civil actions against you because of your good behavior while on probation.

Criminal Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

In cases where an individual is accused of domestic violence, the court will often place a criminal protective order in place during the first court hearing. This protective order will remain in effect for three years from the date that the criminal protective order was issued, unless otherwise stated by the court. The person being protected may request that length of time of the criminal protective order be extended if necessary.

In order to terminate a criminal protective order that was imposed in a domestic violence case, the court must consider whether there has been any material change in circumstances since the order was issued or there exists good cause for the modification of the criminal protective order.  Common factors the court considers when determining good cause for modifying the criminal protective order include:

  • Whether you have accepted responsibility for the abusive behavior;
  • Whether you are currently attending counseling sessions;
  • Whether you completed parenting counseling, or attended alcoholics or narcotics counseling;
  • Whether the victim desires the change;
  • Whether the change will impact any children involved; and
  • Whether it would be in the interests of justice to terminate the criminal protective order.

Terminating your Probation and Obtaining an Expungement

Probation Modification - Burden
Probation modification can help you release the burden of probationary terms.

Individuals who are serving a probationary sentence are not eligible for an expungement. However, you may be able to request that your probation be terminated before the end of the court-ordered probation term in order to obtain an expungement.

Your Wallin & Klaraich criminal defense attorney can file a motion to terminate your probation and a motion for an expungement. For more information on the eligibility requirements for an expungement, see our criminal expungements page.

It is important to remember that you will not automatically receive an expungement if you terminate your probation before the term ends. You must also file a separate motion for a criminal expungement. You need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through this process to ensure that you are able to get your probation terminated and criminal record expunged properly.

Wallin & Klarich Criminal Defense Attorneys

At Wallin & Klarich, we know that serving a lengthy probation sentence can be a huge burden on you and your family. We can help guide you through the difficult process of modifying or terminating your probation. Our attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully helping clients, just like you, modify and terminate their probation orders. We will fight for your freedom.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego, Torrance and Sherman Oaks., there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense available near you no matter where you work or live.

Please call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.


[i] Information on Penal Code 1203.3(a) retrieved from http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/1203.3.html

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