California law allows a motion to be filed with the court that requests a person be released from probation early and apply for an expungement at the same time. Typically, courts require that at least half of the probation term be completed in order for the petition to be granted. The decision to grant or deny the petition is at the discretion of the judge and the decision may be opposed by the district attorney’s office for the relevant county. If the motion is opposed, the district attorney will have to file a formal written motion and a court hearing will be scheduled to hear the merits of the case. Misdemeanor and felony probationers are both eligible for early probation termination.
This procedure can take approximately five weeks to six weeks. However, it may take longer depending on the court the petition is filed in and the complexity of the case.
- Attorney Scott Dicus will gather information about your case from a variety of sources.
- Our attorneys will review your case.
- An attorney will prepare a motion for early probation termination.
- A supporting affidavit for early probation termination is prepared.
- A proposed order for the court is drafted.
- The motion, affidavit and order are filed with the appropriate court.
- Notice of hearing is prepared.
- The required agencies are identified and served with the notice of the hearing.
- If a hearing is scheduled, our attorneys attend it to argue on your behalf.
- Our office will follow up with the court after the hearing to confirm that the judge has approved the order.
- Once the order has been granted and your probation terminated, our attorneys can then begin the process of petitioning the court to expunge your criminal record.
* Note that because each case is unique and there are some procedural differences for each county in California your case may not follow our process outline exactly.
How soon can I apply to have my probation terminated early?
You can apply at any time, but to give yourself the greatest chance at success you need to have completed at least one year of your probation for a misdemeanor conviction or at least 18 months for a felony conviction.
What factors does the court consider in granting early probation terminations?
The court will consider how serious the conviction was if all other conditions of the probation have been complied with and the court will hear any persuasive arguments in favor of the probation being terminated (such as to obtain a job or promotion).
If I get my probation terminated early can I then expunge my record?
Yes! As soon as your probation is terminated we can immediately petition the court to have your conviction expunged.
What are the benefits of early probation termination?
It will allow you to expunge your criminal record immediately, it will relieve you of the danger of a probation violation and restore all of the rights you lose while you are on probation.
San Bernardino County, Fontana Courthouse: Successful motion to end probation early after 20 months of 36 month probationary term. Client’s misdemeanor conviction for battery was expunged at the same hearing.
Los Angeles County – El Monte Court – Early Probation Termination of two separate cases of domestic violence over strong opposition by the District Attorney’s office. Both misdemeanors expunged.
San Bernardino County – San Bernardino Court – Recalled bench warrant for client’s violation of probation, terminated probation, and expunged misdemeanor DUI conviction
Los Angeles County – West Covina Court – Early probation termination and expungement of a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction under Penal Code 273.5(a)
Early Probation Termination and Expungement of a DUI in San Mateo County, South San Francisco Courthouse
Client was convicted of a misdemeanor DUI in 2010. Our office was retained to motion the court to end probation early and have the dui expunged for both employment and immigration purposes. At the same hearing in January, 2013, over the objection of the District Attorney, we convinced it was in the interests of justice to end probation early and expunge the DUI conviction.
Early Probation Termination & Expungement of a DUI in Long Beach, Los Angeles County
Client was convicted of a DUI in 2010. Client was not a citizen of the United States, but had started the process of citizenship. He was told by his case investigator that his petition would be denied in 30 days unless he could show that he was no longer on probation. In just over 15 days, and over the strong objection of the District Attorney’s office, we convinced the judge to end terminate his probation early.