Probation is the community supervision of those convicted of criminal offenses by probation officers. Trial court judges make the ultimate decision to place an adult offender convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime on probation. A sentence of probation is typically given to a guilty party instead of some term of incarceration. This allows the offender to remain in the community under court-imposed conditions and supervision.
Judges have significant discretion over when to sentence an offender to probation and generally make that determination based on various case factors, such as the nature of the offense and the offender’s criminal history. California defendants may be sentenced to formal or informal (summary) probation. Courts typically sentence persons convicted of felony offenses to formal probation.
Probation often includes a commitment to serve some jail time, participation in rehabilitation and treatment programs, the payment of restitution to victims of crime, and other conditions as the court sees fit.
Any defendant who violates probation may suffer negative consequences as a result. This may interfere with any future efforts to have a conviction expunged or dismissed by a California court. The expungement of a conviction may be problematic for any defendant who commits any probation violations.
Criminal defendants who apply for an expungement of their criminal records must successfully complete all conditions of probation. However, even if a defendant commits a probation violation, expungement is not impossible. A knowledgeable and experienced California post-conviction attorney can help in this situation.
“Successfully completing probation” means that an individual:
- completed all the terms of probation – paid all fines and restitution, successfully concluded any counseling and community service programs as required by the trial court;
- attended all required court appearances; and
- did not commit any new criminal offenses while on probation.
The attorneys at the Dolan Law Offices are experienced in helping California residents clear their criminal records. Our seasoned attorneys provide many valuable services to former defendants who have left their criminal pasts behind and moved forward as productive members of communities throughout the Coachella Valley. The Dolan Law Offices can help. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.