Probation may be given instead of or in addition to jail time to many California defendants. Probation can be formal or informal. Informal probation is also called summary probation. No matter what type of probation you are on or for how long, it is crucial to not violate the conditions of your probation at any time. A probation violation can result in many consequences, not least of which is simply the light in which the court will look at you. Violating your probation won't put you on the court's good side. Following the terms and conditions of your probation is important because you may need to ask the court for a favor one day. Having a conviction dismissed is one such favor. Unfortunately, you may have a difficult time having your conviction dismissed from your record if you are caught violating your probation.
An expungement can relieve you of some of the prejudices and restrictions you will face as someone with a criminal record. You must first meet many eligibility requirements before you can file your petition for the dismissal. You are eligible to petition for a dismissal if you were convicted of an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony, and were given jail time, fines, or probation, but were not sentenced to state prison or put under the authority of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. You must also have satisfied the requirements of your sentencing. This means you must have successfully completed your probation and paid all court ordered fines, fees, reimbursements, and restitutions. You also cannot be serving a sentence or on probation for another offense, or charged with any other offenses.
Not having successfully completed your probation doesn't necessarily mean you cannot petition for a dismissal.
If you have not yet completed your probation, you will have to request that your probation be terminated early. Violating your probation will hurt your chances of this ever happening. The courts will only terminate your probation period early if it is in the interests of justice to do so. Typically, if you were not following the law by obeying the terms of your probation, it would not be in the interests of the court to release you from the constraints of probation early.
Violating your probation may be easier than you think. Both formal and summary probation will come with many conditions on which your success hinges. Adhering to your probation will require you live a lawful life overall. If you want to get a conviction dismissed, it is best to complete your probation successfully with no violations. If you have violated your probation, don't despair just yet. Getting a conviction dismissed after a probation violation is not impossible, but it may be a challenge. If your probation was revoked and your original sentence was reinstated, you are not eligible for a dismissal. You must first serve your original sentence. If your probation period was lengthened because of a violation, you must first successfully complete that probation.
You will also need to take into account any probation modifications that may have been imposed as a result of your violation. For example, if your probation period was extended, you will need to complete the new probation period successfully to petition for a dismissal. Similarly, if you were given additional requirements because of your violation, such as community service, you will need to satisfy those requirements before you petition for a dismissal. There is a wide variety of consequences you could face for violating your probation. A judge can impose anything from a longer probation to restoring your original sentence. Make sure you understand any changes made to your probation as a result of the violation before you try to get an older conviction dismissed.
Consult with a California criminal defense attorney who has experience handling expungements and record cleaning if you have violated your probation. If you are approaching the process with a probation violation on your record, you may need the assistance of an attorney to be successful. An attorney can advise you of the steps you need to take to make sure you are on the right track to have a conviction dismissed as soon as you are able.
Do you have questions about the expungement process? If so, contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for expert counsel. Experienced in criminal defense, our Visalia area legal team can help you with cleaning up your criminal record no matter your situation. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Christopher Martens will aggressively defend your rights and will not be afraid to take your case all the way to trial. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.