How to Ask for Early Termination of Probation
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California Penal Code § 1203.3 (a)provides in part: “The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of probation, and discharge the person so held”.
Ordinarily, a defendant who has either satisfactorily completed the probation period or has been discharged before its termination is entitled to have his or her guilty plea expunged and the accusations dismissed. California Penal Code § 1203.4.
Before any term or condition of probation can be modified, a hearing must be held in open court before a judge. The prosecuting attorney must be given two days written notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter. If there is a modification, the judge must state the reasons for that modification on the record.
Before issuing an order terminating probation, the court or its clerk must notify the probation officer in writing of the court's intention to terminate probation.
Step 1. Evaluate If You Qualify
Typically, the defendant will need to establish that he or she has completed the court-ordered sentence, paid all fines and restitution, and finished all counseling requirements. This includes any additional terms imposed at the time of the conviction. For more information on evaluating whether you qualify for termination of probation, see California Criminal Defense Practice KFC 1155 C342 Chapters 90.06-90.12.
Step 2. Create Pleadings and File them with the Superior Court
You must create the following pleadings and file them with the Superior Court. Sample pleadings are included in this guide:
- Notice of Motion to Terminate Probation
- Points and Authorities in Support of Motion to Terminate Probation
- Declaration in Support of Motion to Terminate Probation
- Order Terminating Probation
Make a minimum of three (3) copies of your documents. One of these copies is to be served on the District Attorney, one of the copies is to be served on the Probation Department, one copy will be kept for your own records, and the original will be for the court.
Staple each of the copies, but leave the original unstapled. Sacramento County Superior Court uses an electronic filing system in which documents are scanned in electronically. Stapled originals are not accepted because the staple will jam in the scanner, damaging both the document and the scanner.
File your documents at the Gordon D. Schaber Courthouse at 720 Ninth Street downtown in Room 102, windows 1-6. At this time, the fee for filing a motion is $60.00, unless your fees were waived. Current fees are available on the Sacramento County Superior Court's website. If you qualify for a fee waiver, you may file a request with the court. For more information, see the Step-by-Step guide on Fee Waivers on our website at http://www.saclaw.org/pages/fee-waiver.aspx.
Step 3. Service
After you file your documents with the court, the clerk will give you stamped copies of your papers. These stamped copies must be served on the District Attorney and Probation Department. Service should be performed early enough, so that the District Attorney and Probation Department receive a minimum of 2 days' notice. (Penal Code § 1203.3b1)
The person who is serving your Motion for you must complete a proof of service form, typically, either a Proof of Personal Service form or a Proof of Service by First Class Mail form. For more information on these Proofs of Service, see the guides on our website at http://www.saclaw.org/pages/personal-service.aspx and http://www.saclaw.org/pages/pos-mail.aspx, respectively.
Step 4. Attend Hearing
When your papers are filed with the court, the clerk will set a time for hearing. At the hearing, the judge must state the reasons for any modification on the record. Before issuing an order terminating probation, the Court or its clerk must notify the probation officer in writing of the Court's intention to terminate probation.
Step 5: Appeal
The defendant may appeal an order denying modification or early termination of probation. For more information on the ability to appeal such an order, see California Criminal Defense Practice KFC 1155 C342 Chapters 90.06.
VLSP Criminal Records Expungement Clinic
http://www.vlsp.org/criminal.asp (916) 551-2155
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
915 Broadway, Sacramento
Services provided: assistance expunging criminal records.
Call for an appointment.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
On the Web
Sacramento County Probation Department
Sacramento District Attorney's Office
At the Law Library
California Criminal Law Procedure and Practice KFC 1155 .C254 §38.31 et seq.
This book is a comprehensive guide to California criminal law. Coverage includes preliminary hearings and grand jury proceedings, discovery and pretrial motions, plea bargaining, jury selection, misdemeanor and felony sentencing, appeals, and more.
Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using OnLaw.
California Criminal Defense Practice KFC 1155 C342 Chapters 90.06-90.12
This practice guide takes you step-by-step through every part of a criminal case from arrest and searches, through preliminary hearings, pretrial procedures, trial preparation, trial, sentencing and post-trial remedies.
Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using the MathewBender CD.
California Criminal Practice, Motions, Jury Instructions and Sentencing
KFC 1155 .A65 R8 Form 58:2.10 and Form 58:2.20 (supplement)
This set includes everything commonly used in the daily practice of criminal law including sample forms and motions, commentary, and references to cases and governing statutes.
Witkin California Criminal Law KFC 1100 .W4 C34 (Ready Reference)
Volume 3, §680 et seq.
This set gives comprehensive coverage of crimes, defenses, punishment and criminal procedure. Includes an index, table of statutes, table of rules, forms, and jury instructions.
Electronic Access: On the Law Library's computers, using WestlawNext.
updated 03/18/2011 rmm