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If a defendant is found to be in violation of felony probation, the court can sentence the person to the amount of jail or prison time that was suspended at sentencing. If there was no custody time suspended, then the court has the discretion to sentence the defendant for up to the maximum term for the crimes for which he or she was convicted.
The jail time for a felony probation violation is either:
Note that a judge does not automatically have to place a party in jail if that person commits a felony probation violation. Two other options exist. These are that the judge can:
Felony probation, also known as formal probation in California, is an alternative to prison. It allows someone convicted of a felony to serve all or part of his or her sentence in the community under supervision. Felony probation typically lasts .
Formal probation often includes some of the following conditions:
There are two different outcomes regarding jail time if a person violates felony probation. These are:
Consider, as an example, a defendant that gets convicted of felony hit and run in the State of California, per VC 20001. As a felony, this offense is punishable by imprisonment for:
Assume, during sentencing, that the judge sentences the defendant to two years in jail. But he then suspends that jail term and awards the felon with formal probation. If the party later violates probation, the judge can make him serve the two years in jail that went suspended.
Now, assume during sentencing, that the judge does not suspend any jail term. He simply puts the felon on probation. If the party violates a condition of probation, then the judge can order him to serve the maximum jail term for hit and run (or, 3 years).
A judge does not have to place a person in jail for a felony probation violation.
The judge has two other options. These are:
If the latter, the court typically imposes harsher probation conditions, in comparison to the original conditions.
Felony probation is an alternative to the California state prison. It allows people convicted of a felony crime in California to serve their sentences out of custody so long as they comply with probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer.
Felony probation typically lasts up to two years for non-violent felonies and three years for theft of more than $25,000. Probation can be longer for violent felonies. The probationer must report on a regular basis to a probation officer.
Judges look at a number of factors to determine if someone should be placed on probation rather than put in prison for a felony conviction. Some of these include:
At the defendant’s sentencing hearing in California, the defendant can argue why he or she is amenable to probation and should be placed on felony probation instead of being incarcerated. Note that the prosecutor has an opportunity to argue the opposite – why state prison would be a more appropriate punishment than felony probation. Ultimately, the judge decides the issue.
Felony probation often includes conditions such as the following:
These are just examples of common probation conditions. There could be others, so long as they are reasonable and logically related to the offense at hand. Judges have wide discretion to come up with probation conditions that are fitting and proper to the end that justice may be done.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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