A domestic violence charge can be a scary thing to face. You may have accepted a plea deal in order to avoid the potential jail time you could have faced by going to trial. But now that you’re on probation, you realize that your tarnished criminal record is creating hurdles in your ability to land a job or rent an apartment.
Is there an option to get off of probation early? In many cases, yes. Your lawyer can file your motion for early termination for you. In addition, they can attend your hearings and argue your case on your behalf – without even requiring you to personally attend.
What does the court consider?
In determining whether you qualify for early termination of your probation, the court will consider a variety of factors, including:
- Whether you were charged in state court: If you were charged and convicted in federal court, you will be ineligible for early termination.
- Whether you’ve completed all requirements of your sentence: This may include serving any mandated jail time as well as paying any necessary fines and restitution.
- Whether you’ve violated the terms of your probation in any way: For domestic violence cases, this could involve failing to attend all court-ordered anger management classes, breaking a no-contact order or missing a meeting with a probation officer.
- Whether you’re currently facing another charge: If you’re serving a sentence or probation for another offense, the court will be unlikely to accept a request for early termination.
- What your criminal record looks like: If you have an extensive record of repeat offenses, this will not work in your favor.
- How serious the offense was: Not all domestic violence is the same. If the conduct you were convicted of was relatively minor, the judge will be more likely to show leniency.
- How much of probation you have completed: While there is no firm rule on how much probation must be completed to get early termination, having completed at least half is often beneficial.
- How early termination will benefit you: If you can demonstrate that your termination is creating challenges in your everyday life – such as impeding your ability to gain employment – this can help your case.
Key benefits of early termination
California Penal Code 1203.3 grants the courts the right to terminate a petitioner’s probation at any time. What many people don’t realize is that when you get off probation early, you can get your underlying conviction expunged from your record as well. Often, your lawyer can help you accomplish both of these things at the same hearing. This means that you can move on with your life quickly, without a blemish on your record preventing you from achieving your goals.