If you are charged and convicted of a crime — either a misdemeanor or felony — in California, the judge may decide that you will need to complete a certain length of probation before you are able to move forward from this situation entirely. If you are put on probation at the end of a felony case, you will need to report to a probation officer on a certain schedule and will need to complete a series of additional requirements that may be specific to the terms of your conviction or agreement with the courts. If you are put on probation at the end of a misdemeanor case, you will not need to report to a probation officer, but you will need to abide by certain terms or requirements set by the judge or else risk additional punishments for violating the terms of probation.
It is absolutely essential that you are clear on the terms and requirements of your probation in order to avoid any additional problems that could result in further legal issues. While it is in your best interest to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney throughout your criminal case, it is equally important to have an attorney who will help you understand your rights and requirements through the duration of your probation in order to avoid any future complications.
Read more below about some important specifics about what you can expect for your probation in California, and contact our team now to speak with an experienced defense attorney about your situation. Whether you have recently been charged with a crime and need representation for an upcoming trial, or if you have already been convicted and simply need help navigating your probation, we will be happy to help you. Contact us now for an initial consultation.
What Is Probation?
If you are charged with a crime in California, you may end up needing to serve probation if you are convicted, reach a plea deal, or accept alternative sentencing in order to seek reduced penalties. Depending on whether or not you have been charged or convicted with a misdemeanor or felony, the terms of your probation, duration of your probation, and the consequences of violating your probation will change. These details will all be laid out during your sentencing, but it is important that you have a clear and lasting understanding of your requirements.
Misdemeanor Probation in California
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor in California, there are many times that you may be able to serve your punishment in the form of probation as opposed to any jail time. This is known as an informal or summary probation, whereas a felony conviction will result in a formal probation that you can learn more about below.
It is not a guarantee that you will be able to serve probation instead of jail time if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, but if you are working with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney they will likely identify a variety of paths towards this outcome. Depending on the specifics of your charges, the terms of your probation will have specific requirements that pertain to your criminal actions. Violating these terms may result in additional fines and even jail time.
Felony Probation in California
If you are convicted of a felony in California, or if you accept a plea deal or alternative sentencing, you may be able to avoid or reduce your jail time by accepting a probation term. If you violate the specific terms of your probation, you may be required to go to jail for the remainder of the term that you avoided, or may even have additional charges or be required to serve the maximum time that your initial charges would have suggested.
As you can imagine, it is absolutely essential that you understand the terms of your probation, and that you do not violate these terms for the duration. You will work directly with a probation officer during the course of your probation period, and the specific terms of your probation will be specific to the charges that you have been convicted of. They may involve routine drug testing, attendance of alcohol or drug education programs, therapy, paying restitution, community service, and more.
How To Get Probation Instead of Jail Time in California
There is no guaranteed way to get a probation term instead of serving jail time in California, but working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is a great way to increase the likelihood that you are working towards this alternative. Criminal matters are complicated, and the California courts have judges with very specific ways that they handle many different crimes. We have a history of experience and understand these courts and judges, which is a great advantage for you as we are helping you navigate this process. We will be able to sit and identify all options and possible outcomes and create a strategy that we will be able to work towards as a team.
Contact us now to schedule your initial consultation, so that you can understand more about your charges and how we, as a law firm experienced in criminal defense, think of the context of these crimes and how we can help you work towards a good outcome.