California courts may issue probation to defendants convicted of misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanor probation, also known as summary or informal probation, allows offenders to serve most, if not all, of their sentence under informal court supervision instead of in jail. Formal (felony) probation is typically granted in some felony cases which allows the same under the supervision of a probation officer and requires probation reports from the county probation office. Both types of probation require that defendants adhere to their conditions of probation. In some cases, probation may be modified.
If a defendant fails to comply with the conditions, a judge may ignore the violation, modify the order of probation, or revoke alternative sentencing and send the defendant to jail up to the maximum punishment for the original crime. The court may additionally sentence the defendant if the violation amounts to a new crime.
A California judge has the discretion to modify the terms of a person’s probation. The modification of probation may be initiated by the judge, the defendant, or the prosecutor. A modification may have negative consequences if a probation violation occurs since the judge may extend the period of alternative sentencing or increase the period the former defendant must spend in jail. However, a modification of probation typically helps a defendant.
However, before a judge revokes alternative sentencing, the court will conduct a probation revocation hearing where the defendant will have an opportunity to deny or explain the violation. If the defendant fails to attend the probation hearing – or loses – the judge will immediately revoke the alternative sentencing and impose the original sentence.
When a person completes the terms of misdemeanor probation early and without any violations, California law allows their probation to be terminated early. However, some judges are reluctant to grant early termination in cases involving driving under the influence (DUI), or crimes of domestic violence.
The attorney that any defendant hires may be crucial to achieving the best possible result. John Patrick Dolan has forty years of criminal defense experience. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.