How Does Probation Work in Los Angeles, CA?

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One of the ways we can help our clients avoid jail time is by seeking to negotiate an alternative sentencing arrangement. “Probation” is one of those sentences. It is a program that has been quite successful here in California. 

Usually probation is open to first-time offenders, though there are some instances in which we’ve been able to secure a probation sentence for repeat offenders. It just depends on what the facts of your specific case happen to be. Probation is not available to people who have been convicted of violent, serious, or sexual crimes. 

Probation is not to be confused with parole, which is a process felons go through after serving their full jail time. Probation is a sentence in and of itself. It is a possible sentence both in felony cases and in misdemeanor cases, though it works a little differently depending on whether you are being convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor Probation

A misdemeanor probation is supervised by the court and usually lasts for one year.

The court will set certain conditions such as:

  • Paying fines & restitution
  • Community service
  • Obeying all laws
  • Attending counseling programs

You will have a series of court dates where you return to the judge and provide information about your progress. You are permitted to travel if you can do so while meeting all of your other obligations, and there are no restrictions on whether or not you’ll be able to move house. 

Be careful, though. If you fail to arrive at one of your court dates you’ll be charged with a failure to appear. You’ll also most likely lose your probation status and will be sent to jail to serve out the maximum sentence for the crime you’ve been convicted of.

Felony Probation

Felony probation works a little differently. First, it tends to last two to three years.

Second, it’s similar to parole in that you will be assigned a probation officer. You will have restrictions on money and travel and will have to keep your probation officer aware of your home and work address at all times. 

You may also face more restrictions and conditions than your average misdemeanor defendant.

Finally, you’ll face an eligibility step in that the County Probation Department will have to prepare a probation report evaluating whether they think you are a danger to the public and whether you are a good fit for the program.

Get Help Today

You should never take a probation deal without talking to an attorney first. It is usually offered as part of a plea bargain, and it is a sentence. That means you will have a criminal record when your sentence is complete.

If your attorney thinks you have a strong enough case to seek acquittal or to have your charges dropped or dismissed, you should seek out those avenues first.

Need help? Contact our office to schedule a case review today. 

See also:

How Does Parole Work in Los Angeles, CA

How Pretrial Diversion Works in Los Angeles, CA

What to Do If You Get Arrested in Los Angeles, CA

How Does Probation Work in Los Angeles, CA?

inne-rpage-seperator

One of the ways we can help our clients avoid jail time is by seeking to negotiate an alternative sentencing arrangement. “Probation” is one of those sentences. It is a program that has been quite successful here in California. 

Usually probation is open to first-time offenders, though there are some instances in which we’ve been able to secure a probation sentence for repeat offenders. It just depends on what the facts of your specific case happen to be. Probation is not available to people who have been convicted of violent, serious, or sexual crimes. 

Probation is not to be confused with parole, which is a process felons go through after serving their full jail time. Probation is a sentence in and of itself. It is a possible sentence both in felony cases and in misdemeanor cases, though it works a little differently depending on whether you are being convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor Probation

A misdemeanor probation is supervised by the court and usually lasts for one year.

The court will set certain conditions such as:

  • Paying fines & restitution
  • Community service
  • Obeying all laws
  • Attending counseling programs

You will have a series of court dates where you return to the judge and provide information about your progress. You are permitted to travel if you can do so while meeting all of your other obligations, and there are no restrictions on whether or not you’ll be able to move house. 

Be careful, though. If you fail to arrive at one of your court dates you’ll be charged with a failure to appear. You’ll also most likely lose your probation status and will be sent to jail to serve out the maximum sentence for the crime you’ve been convicted of.

Felony Probation

Felony probation works a little differently. First, it tends to last two to three years.

Second, it’s similar to parole in that you will be assigned a probation officer. You will have restrictions on money and travel and will have to keep your probation officer aware of your home and work address at all times. 

You may also face more restrictions and conditions than your average misdemeanor defendant.

Finally, you’ll face an eligibility step in that the County Probation Department will have to prepare a probation report evaluating whether they think you are a danger to the public and whether you are a good fit for the program.

Get Help Today

You should never take a probation deal without talking to an attorney first. It is usually offered as part of a plea bargain, and it is a sentence. That means you will have a criminal record when your sentence is complete.

If your attorney thinks you have a strong enough case to seek acquittal or to have your charges dropped or dismissed, you should seek out those avenues first.

Need help? Contact our office to schedule a case review today. 

See also:

How Does Parole Work in Los Angeles, CA

How Pretrial Diversion Works in Los Angeles, CA

What to Do If You Get Arrested in Los Angeles, CA

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