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Understanding Felony Probation in California

July 13, 2019

Only certain people convicted of felonies will be eligible for probation

Understanding Felony Probation in Californiaa

Probation is a period of supervision over a person who has been convicted of a crime.  It is ordered by a court instead of incarceration.  While some may use the terms interchangeably, probation is distinct from parole, which occurs after a person is released from incarceration.

Not everyone convicted of a felony offense in California will qualify for probation.  As a criminal lawyer Long Beach, CA can explain, a person must be eligible for probation under California law.  People who are convicted of certain felonies are not eligible for probation, except in unusual cases or if the interests of justice would be served by granting probation.

If a person is eligible for probation, he or she will be referred to a probation officer.  This officer will then investigate the prior criminal history and record of the individual who has been convicted, as well as the circumstances surrounding the crime.  From there, the officer will submit a written report to the court with a recommendation about whether probation should be granted or denied, what conditions of probation should be (if granted), and if restitution should be required.  The judge will then use this report as part of his or her decision-making process in determining a sentence.  In some cases, a probation officer is not involved in this process, as a criminal lawyer Long Beach, CA negotiates a plea bargain with the prosecutor and establishes a probation term.

If probation is granted, the judge will impose a number of conditions.  These may include payment of fines, drug or alcohol treatment, anger management classes, and the payment of restitution.  A term of felony probation can be for as long as the maximum possible prison sentence for the case.  However, if the maximum sentence is 5 years or less, then the probation period can be 5 years or less (but no longer).

If a person fails to comply with the terms of their felony probation, then they may be arrested.  This could result in having to serve the original jail or prison term, or the judge adding additional jail time.  Alternatively, the judge could order the individual to comply with additional terms and conditions as part of their felony probation.

For those who have complied with their probation and done well, their criminal lawyer Long Beach, CA may request that their probation term be modified.  A judge may agree to shorten or end the term of probation based on their successful compliance with probation thus far.

If you have been charged with a felony offense, you will need an experienced attorney to represent you throughout the process.  The Chambers Law Firm is skilled at handling all aspects of the California criminal justice process.  We aggressively advocate for our clients to help them achieve the best possible results.  Contact our firm today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation.

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