Posted on December 29, 2019

Prosecutor Must Give Victim Notice Before Court Terminates Probation Early

In California, a criminal defendant is permitted to petition the Court under penal code 1203.3 to terminate probation early. Ordinarily, the defendant must demonstrate a legitimate reason to terminate probation – e.g., employment, military service, child adoption, etc. The Court has broad authority to grant a defendant’s motion to terminate probation early even if the prosecutor objects.

Effective January 1, 2020, the California legislature amended the statute to include a requirement that the prosecutor give notice to the crime victim prior to the Court terminating probation early. Moreover, PC 1203.3(b)(2) provides that before an order terminating probation early may be made, a hearing shall be held in open court. The prosecutor must be given two-day written notice and an opportunity to be heard. If the victim advises the prosecution that there is an outstanding restitution order or restitution fine, the prosecution must request a continuance.

The legislative intent supporting the amendment of this statute is to ensure that attempts are reasonably made to repay crime victims for their economic loss as a result of the defendant’s crime. Prior law allowed Courts to terminate probation early without ever being informed about whether a defendant has repaid his or her restitution obligation. Having an outstanding restitution balance may be a factor the Court uses to deny a defendant’s petition to terminate probation early.

If you have been charged, arrested, or are seeking to terminate probation early, then contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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