Courts often sentence criminal defendants to probation instead of or in addition to jail time. Probation can be formal or informal. The latter is also known as summary probation. Formal probation is usually given for felony convictions. While probation typically represents freedom to criminal defendants, it is imperative that they do not violate the conditions of probation under any circumstance. Probation violations may result in many adverse consequences. Not the least of which is difficulty trying to expunge the conviction at a future date. Courts do not look favorably upon probation offenders.
An expungement may alleviate some of the biases and restrictions experienced by those with criminal records. Anyone convicted of an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony, and given jail time, fines, or probation, but not sentenced to state prison or placed under the authority of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is eligible to file a petition for expungement. You must also have met and completed all sentencing requirements related to your offense, i.e., the successful completion of your probation and payment of all court-ordered fines, fees, reimbursements, and restitutions. You may not be in the process of serving a sentence or on probation for another offense or charged with any other offenses.
However, the unsuccessful completion of probation does not mean that it is impossible to file a petition for expungement. If probation has not yet been completed, you must request that the court terminate probation. However, any probation violation seriously diminishes the chance of early termination since California courts will only terminate probation prior to its scheduled conclusion if it is in the “interests of justice.” Failing to obey the law and observe the terms of probation would not compel any court to believe that it is in the interests of justice for an early release of probation.
Probation, whether formal or summary, comes with many strings attached. There are many requirements, conditions, and formalities to consider and observe. Completing probation without any violations is the best way to ensure that a conviction is dismissed later in the future.
Defendants who have probation revoked and the original sentence reinstated are not eligible for an expungement and must serve their original sentence. Also, probation must also be fully completed if the probation period was extended because of a violation.
You must also account for any revisions or modifications to your probation that may have been imposed as a result of your violation. If probation was extended or you were given additional requirements, such as community service, these requirements must be satisfied before you file a petition for expungement
Dismissing a conviction after a probation violation will be challenging but is not impossible. If you have any probation violations on your record, typically, you will require the assistance of an experienced attorney knowledgeable of the expungement process. The attorneys at the Dolan Law Offices are experienced in helping California residents clear their criminal records. For over forty years, we have provided Californians with post-conviction services that clear their criminal record to further solidify their future as productive, law-abiding members of the Coachella Valley community. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.