If you were unfortunately convicted of a criminal offense in Los Angeles, you would have to face sentencing from the court. Many defendants end up serving time in jail or prison, but some are permitted to serve probation terms instead. Most defendants prefer probation because it allows them to serve their sentence while avoiding incarceration. However, probation often takes time to complete and can last as long as many prison or jail terms.
Exactly how long your probation lasts depends on the unique details of your case and your charges. Probation eligibility is usually written into the statute pertaining to your specific charges. Many charges are eligible for probation, but some more serious offenses may not be. Probation terms are sometimes included in criminal statutes and will specify the length of your probation. However, if no time is specified, misdemeanor probation will last for at least 1 year but no longer than 2. For non-violent felonies, probation may be for at least 3 years, but often no longer than 5 years.
If you are facing criminal charges in Los Angeles or were previously sentenced to probation, our Los Angeles probation lawyers can help. We can work to reduce the time you spend on probation so you can get back to your normal life. Call our team at (909) 861-8075 to schedule a free consultation.
How Long Can Probation Last in Los Angeles?
Probation does not always follow a standard procedure applicable to all charges in all cases. While there are some guidelines on how long probation should last, each case is different and may result in different probation terms. The length of your probation may depend on whether you were charged with a felony or a misdemeanor and what the relevant criminal statute says about probation.
To figure out how long your probation sentence could be, you should speak with an attorney and look at the relevant criminal statute. For example, if you were charged with a misdemeanor theft crime, you should look at the statute about that crime. The statute may contain information about sentencing, including probation terms. If there is no probation information in the statute, you may have to check other factors.
If you are convicted of a felony offense, you are more likely to be sentenced to formal probation. Formal probation, depending on the severity and nature of your charges, can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Formal probation involves meeting with a probation officer who oversees your case and reports any violations to the court.
Summary probation is more often imposed for minor offenses like misdemeanors and usually only lasts for up to 1 year. Summary probation is sometimes referred to as informal probation because a probation officer does not handle your case. Instead, the court holds you accountable and supervises your cases. Call our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to talk about what kind of probation you may receive if convicted of your charges.
What Are The Reasons Probation Might Take a Long Time in Los Angeles?
Probation duration depends on a number of factors and it not the same for every defendant. The amount of time you spend on probation will be influenced by the mitigating and aggravating factors surrounding your case. For example, if you have more mitigating factors, your probation time might be closer to the lowest limit allowed. However, more aggravating factors may push your probation time closer to the maximum time limit permitted.
Mitigating factors are details that make you look better to the court. Showing remorse, cooperation with law enforcement, and a clean criminal history may be considered mitigating factors that can be used to argue for a shorter probation time. Aggravating factors are the opposite and make you look worse. Permanent injuries to victims, a lack of remorse, and attempts to evade the police could be used to justify a greater probation time.
Probation may also be extended as a result of probation violations. Probation typically comes with an assortment of terms and conditions the convicted defendant must abide by. If any of these rules are broken, the defendant could be re-arrested and brought back to court. The judge may let the defendant off with a warning for small violations. If these violations begin to repeat or become more serious, the judge could extend probation time. Call our Los Angeles probation lawyers for help dealing with any probation violations.
How to End Probation Early in Los Angeles
If you play your cards right, you may be able to end your probation term early. The court has the power to modify your probation, as mentioned above. While probation can be extended for bad behavior, it may be reduced for good behavior.
According to the California Penal Code § 1203.3, the court may terminate probation when a defendant’s good behavior leads the court to believe they have reformed. However, this is often done at the court’s discretion, and your good behavior may not necessarily guarantee early termination of probation.
In most cases, early termination is considered after a defendant has completed all the required conditions of their probation, such as education courses and treatment programs. When a defendant completes the requirements of their probation early, they may move to have their probation ended early. The odds of early termination are better if you avoided any probation violations during your probation term.
Before probation can be modified, the court must hold a hearing on the matter. Both sides may weigh in on the issue and present arguments for and against early termination of probation. Our Los Angeles probation attorneys will fight for you at your hearing and work to get your probation terminated sooner rather than later.
Call Our Los Angeles Probation Lawyers
If you are currently facing criminal charges, our Los Angeles probation attorneys can help you advocate for a manageable probation term rather than a prison sentence. If you have already been sentenced to probation, we can help you deal with any probation violations. Call our offices at (909) 861-8075 to schedule a free, private legal consultation.