If you're on probation in Riverside County, California, you no doubt want your probationary period to end sooner rather than later. California law provides judges with the power to set the length of probation as well as modify the terms of probation. As such, judges can shorten the length of probation for individuals who file a motion with the court requesting early termination.
There is no guarantee that a judge will grant a request for an early termination of probation in California. However, there are things you can do that can either hurt or increase your chances of a request being granted.
Here are four things you can do to improve the odds that your motion for early termination of probation in Riverside County will be granted.
- Follow the Rules. If you violate the terms of your probation, the likelihood of a judge being receptive to the idea of ending your probation early are slim. Failing a drug test, disobeying a “no contact” order, leaving the state without permission, or otherwise disobeying the order setting forth what you can, cannot, and must do while on probation could actually lead to an extension of your probationary period or the revocation of your probation that can result in time behind bars.
- Pay Your Restitution. If the terms of your probation require you to pay restitution, paying what you own on time and, if possible, paying what you owe early will be viewed positively by the judge considering your early termination request.
- Go Above and Beyond. Your probation order may require you to attend counseling or a substance abuse program, or require you to engage in community service. Even if it doesn't, showing a commitment to your community, your health, or your sobriety that goes above and beyond what you are obligated to do can be impressive to a judge during an early termination of probation hearing.
- Impress Your Probation Officer. At the hearing on your motion requesting early termination of probation, the judge will ask your probation officer for their opinion on your request. While the judge makes the ultimate decision as to whether to grant your request – and can terminate your probation early even over your probation officer's objection – he will give significant weight to the officer's testimony. Maintaining a good relationship with your parole officer, making sure you appear at all scheduled meetings, and reporting in as required can increase the odds that he or she will give a favorable report to the judge.
If you are currently on probation, our Riverside County criminal defense lawyers may be able to assist you in reducing the length of your probation so you can move forward with your life sooner. Please give us a call so we can evaluate your situation and advise you of your options. (Also see our article Four Tips for Early Termination of Probation in Nevada.)