The Law Office of Gregory Hagopian in Visalia represents people who are seeking an expungement in California. To learn more about probation violations and expungements, please read the information below or contact a lawyer online.
What Does It Mean To Be On Probation?
When a judge places a person on probation, rather than imposing the maximum sentence that the judge is allowed to impose, the judge will impose some lesser sentence on the defendant, but will impose additional conditions. Sometimes these conditions include checking in with a probation officer, paying fines to the court, taking mandatory classes (such as parenting, anger management, or DUI classes), completing community service, and most importantly, obeying all federal, state, and local laws.
What Does It Mean To Violate Probation?
If a person who is on probation fails to meet any of the conditions imposed on him or her by the court, he or she is said to be in violation of his or her probation. If the court thinks that a person has violated his or her probation it will hold a probation violation hearing. Unlike a criminal trial the probation violation hearing is held in front of a judge who will decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of the probation violation. If the judge finds the person guilty of the probation violation he or she can do a few things:
1. He or she can extend the amount of time the person will be on probation, so that the court can supervise him or her longer.
2. He or she can order the person to do community service or serve a short number of days in the county jail.
3. He or she can terminate the person's probation and impose the maximum sentence (less any time the person has spent in custody) that he or she originally agreed not to impose. When this happens, probation is terminated and is said to end unsuccessfully.
What If I Got Caught Violating Probation?
We may still be able to help you. A judge will have to decide if you still deserve to have your criminal record expunged, even though you didn't follow all the terms of your probation. Having an attorney to help advocate for you gives you a huge advantage. We have had excellent results in several such cases where we were able to show the judge through a variety of evidence that the person seeking expungement was a good and decent member of the community, despite having made mistakes on probation, who deserved a chance to clear his or her record.
What Does It Mean To Successfully Complete Probation?
If a person gets to the end of his or her probation period without the judge both violating and terminating his or her probation then he or she has successfully completed probation. Successfully completed probation, in other words, means getting to the end of the time period set without your probation being revoked. The term is needlessly confusing; one cannot "unsuccessfully" complete probation. If you get to the end, you win.
What If I Am Still On Probation?
We may still be able to help you. California law allows us to request an early termination of probation on your behalf under Penal Code Section 1203.3. There is no minimum amount of time set by law that you must wait before requesting an early termination of probation. Typically, however, the courts will require that the defendant have completed at least half of the probation time ordered at the time of sentencing before they will grant an motion for early termination. It is also required that all orders of the court have been complied with before a motion for early termination will be granted. These may include the payment of fines and fees, the payment of restitution, the attending of mandatory classes, and the completion of community service.