A court with proper jurisdiction over the case can order the early termination of probation for a felony or misdemeanor criminal case. This can be done at any time during the period of probation and the process is specified under Sec 1203.3 of the California Penal Code.

The process in early termination of probation is as follows:

  1. The lawyer of the individual undergoing probation would file a motion seeking early termination of probation;
  2. The said motion would then be calendared in court;
  3. The lawyer would then discuss the matter with the public prosecutor in order to obtain support on the motion, together with advance notice in order to prepare for any objections on the motion filed;
  4. The lawyers for both parties then would argue the matter before the judge;

While ideally once probation is imposed, an individual can seek for its early termination. A court though does not grant the motion until after service of one year for a misdemeanor probation and eighteen months for a felony probation. This unofficial time frame applies to misdemeanor probations, with periods between one and five years and for felony probations where, where there is a reporting requirement with a probation officer for periods between three and five years.

In granting the motion for early termination of probation, there are specific guidelines that the judge must review to reach a decision of whether or not to grant the motion or deny the same. These are as follows:

  1. the gravity of the conduct that lead to the conviction of the accused;
  2. the compliance with all the specific requisites set forth in the probation order;
  3. the extent of the person’s criminal records;
  4. the effect of probation as to future employment or availment of other personal benefits;
  5. the opinion of the public prosecutor on the motion filed;

Once there is a grant of early termination of probation, the petition for expungement can soon thereafter be filed. Oftentimes, the motion for early termination would include a petition for expungement in the same hearing in order to dispense with all these matters in just one calendar proceeding.

The expungement of criminal convictions is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.