August 10, 2016 By Paul Wallin


How to Terminate Your Probation Early in 5 Simple Steps (PC 1203.03)

If you are on probation, your daily life can be like walking a tightrope. Making a misstep while on probation could lead to serious consequences, including serving jail or prison time. The good news is that California law allows people who are on probation the opportunity to hire a lawyer who can prepare a legal motion to terminate your probation early. Early termination of your probation would mean that you no longer have to worry about the extra burdens you face daily and you can begin the process of returning to a normal life. With that goal in mind, here is a look at the 5 major steps to getting off probation early.

Step 1: Consult an Experienced Defense Attorney 

An experienced attorney can help you:

  • File a request with the court to terminate your probation early
  • Navigate the legal process
  • Develop a convincing argument as to why you deserve to be released from probation, and
  • Make your case before the judge at your hearing

An experienced attorney will know when and how to file all the necessary papers to get your hearing on the court’s calendar, and make sure that no required steps are missed.

Step 2: Keep a Clean Record 

California Penal Code Section 1203.3 states that the court may terminate your probation and discharge you if you have exhibited good behavior and reform. However, the decision to grant an early termination is not automatic. It is up to the discretion of the judge in your case. This means that your attorney needs to convince the judge that you are deserving of having your probation terminated early. Your chances are much better if you have stayed out of trouble and followed all the terms of your probation, including paying any fines and restitution and attending all mandatory counseling sessions.

Step 3: Serve at Least Half of Your Probation Term 

You can technically apply for early termination of your probation at any time, as nothing in the law requires that you serve a minimum percentage of your probation term before you request to have your probation terminated early. However, it is generally the case that a judge will not grant your request for early termination if you have not served at least half of your probation term.

Step 4: Petition the Court 

If you want the court to review your case and grant you an early end to your probation, you must have your lawyer make a formal request. Your lawyer will need to give the court a good explanation as to why you are deserving of an early release from your probation sentence. Usually, you will need to show some form of injustice that you will suffer if your release is not granted, such as the probation sentence having a negative effect on your employment. In addition, the district attorney will need to be notified of your petition because he or she must be given the opportunity to oppose your request. An experienced attorney will know the right way to file your motion and how to successfully argue for you in court.

Step 5: Win the Hearing 

Once all the paperwork has been filed, the court will set a date for a hearing at which your attorney will be able to argue your case for early termination. Depending upon the crime for which you were convicted and your conduct while on probation, the prosecutor has the option to oppose your motion for early termination. Once both sides have been heard, the judge will make a decision. If your lawyer can convince the judge, he or she may order your probation to be terminated immediately. The judge may also deny your motion. In some cases, the judge may decide that your crime requires that you spend some additional time on probation, but the judge may also decide that if you keep a clean record during that additional time, he or she will grant your request when you file again at that time.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

Bringing your probation to an early end can be an important step toward moving forward with your life. At Wallin & Klarich, our more than 40 years of experience successfully defending clients in probation matters has taught us the value of a second chance. We dedicate our skill and knowledge to help you obtain an early termination to your probation so that we can give you the best chance at moving past this difficult episode in your life. Contact us today for a free, no obligation phone consultation.

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

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

1.Cal. Pen. Code § 1203.3(a). href=”#ref1″>↩

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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